September 21, 2014

Elyria
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Teen shooting suspect to be tried as adult

ELYRIA – A 16-year-old Elyria boy was bound over Friday to stand trial as an adult on charges accusing him of shooting an Oberlin boy in the back and leg after a party Nov. 10.

Cross

Roderick “Chubs” Cross Jr., 16, sat quietly as he listened to testimony presented in Lorain County Juvenile Court, including the statements of several teenagers who described how he got out of a van and fired at two youths.

Matthew Jones, 16, the wounded teen, also testified, saying his friends noticed a van circling the area after a party at 89 S. Pleasant St.

“Roderick Cross comes out with a gun – a .22 revolver,” Jones said. “He said, ‘Do you all want to jump me now?`”

Jones said he recognized Cross as the boy who got into a fight with a friend, Aaron James, at the 2005 Oberlin High School football homecoming game.

“Somebody from the van was yelling, ‘Shoot him!` and he shot at A.J. (James) and missed, and then I ran,” Jones said.
Jones said he felt the bullets strike his back and his right leg near his knee. He was flown by helicopter to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland; the bullets were later removed in surgery at Community Regional Medical Center in Lorain, he said.

Cross` attorney, Shimane Smith, asked Jones whether he had had taken part in a beating of Cross two years ago. Jones said he hadn`t.

Aaron James, 15, told the court a similar account of the events of that evening and said a female friend pushed him into a car after Cross shot at him.

After hearing the testimony, Juvenile Judge David Basinski found probable cause that Cross was involved in the crime and ordered his case be moved to Common Pleas Court, where he faces stiffer penalties than he would have had it remained in the juvenile justice system.

A grand jury is expected to consider charges against him next week.

Through the juvenile court, Cross, who turned 16 on Nov. 25, had faced charges of attempted murder with a gun specification, felonious assault, having weapons while on probation and being ungovernable.

Cross` mother attended the hearing Friday, weeping throughout most of it. And while her son remained mostly quiet, he did start to cry when Basinski set his bond – a split requirement that calls for him to post a $50,000 cash bond in addition to signing a $50,000 personal bond.

Cross has a lengthy juvenile record in Elyria and Oberlin dating back to when he was 8.

When he was 11 and a student at Edison School in Elyria, he was charged with assault after punching a 49-year-old female bus monitor in the stomach and punching another student in the head, according to court records.

That year, he also was charged with punching another student in the head after an argument about grades, court records show.

The next year, when he was 12, the records show he was charged in connection with four violent incidents, including an altercation with a female teacher and grabbing a 7-year-old boy and throwing him to the ground.

This year, he was charged with stealing condoms and body spray at an Elyria drug store and receiving stolen property when police found him with shoes that had been taken during a burglary, according Elyria police reports.

Cross also was listed as a suspect in the beating of a 25-year-old man who was attacked at a car wash on Middle Avenue, according to an Elyria police report.

Contact Cindy Leise at 329-7245 or cleise@chroniclet.com.