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Grand jury indicts teens on attempted murder charges in crowbar attack

Aaron Krause • May 20, 2013 at 5:07 PM

Two local teens accused of trying to kill another teen in a crowbar attack have been indicted.

They were two of 12 people indicted Friday by a Huron County grand jury.

Tyler G. Smith, 19, of 223 Hamilton St., Bellevue, was indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit aggravated murder or murder, one count of attempted murder, two counts of felonious assault and one count of tampering with evidence.

Connor C.D. Holbrook, 19, of 840 Kilbourne St., Bellevue, was indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit aggravated murder or murder, one count of attempted murder, two counts of felonious assault, one count of obstructing justice and one count of tampering with evidence.

The charges stem from an April incident during which the victim, Austin D. Thornton, was hit over the head with a crowbar.

Smith told investigators the assault "was precipitated by text, phone and electronic messages that exchanged between himself and others," according to a search warrant.

Thornton, 19, of St. Paris, which is near Dayson, was first taken to Willard Mercy Hospital, and then was transported to the neuro-intensive care unit of Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo.

For a period of time, Thornton was in critical condition at the Toledo facility. A hospital spokeswoman on Friday said Thornton has been released, but she didn't know when.

"He's out of the woods. He's going to live," Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Richard Woodruff said Friday.

Woodruff said that's about the extent of information he has on Thornton's condition, since he hasn't spoken to any of his health care providers.

The victim reportedly has been transferred to a Dayton-area rehabilitation facility.

At the time of the assault, "he (Thornton) was in the area visiting friends," Huron County Sheriff's Detective Sgt. Josh Querin has said.

When asked if the victim knew his suspected attackers, Querin said, "It's fair to say they knew each other, but not for a very long time."

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