Teen to be tried as adult

Friday, September 7, 2007

See video of Jonathan McClard leaving the Cape Girardeau County Courthouse Thursday after his arraignment hearing.

The 16-year-old from Jackson accused of shooting and wounding another teen three times in a love-triangle dispute will be tried as an adult for the crime.

Circuit Judge Scott Thomsen certified Jonathan D. McClard as an adult Thursday morning. McClard is accused of shooting Jeremy D. Voshage, 17, also of Jackson, in July at the Shawnee Square Car Wash in Jackson.

As an adult, McClard was charged with the same offenses he faced as a juvenile, first-degree assault and armed criminal action.

The certification hearing was held at the Cape Girardeau County Courthouse after McClard's attorney requested a change of judge, though normally the case would have been heard in juvenile court.

Thursday afternoon at an arraignment hearing before Circuit Judge Gary Kamp, McClard waived his right to a preliminary hearing. His next hearing will be Sept. 17.

The shooting occurred around 6:30 p.m. July 10 at the four-bay car wash on Shawnee Boulevard.

The two teenagers had been at odds for several weeks because Voshage had begun dating McClard's former girlfriend, said Karen Oberman, Voshage's mother, in a July interview.

McClard had threatened to kill Voshage, Oberman said, but her son did not take the threats seriously.

Voshage told police he had showed up at the car wash to meet McClard.

A probable-cause statement signed by Lt. Rodney Barnes of the Jackson Police Department said McClard confessed to shooting Voshage and told police where to find the .22-caliber rifle he said he used and that police retrieved the weapon.

He had taken the gun from his father's house, according to the probable-cause statement.

Video surveillance at the car wash recorded McClard at the scene before the shooting.

Thomsen ruled that McClard should stand trial as an adult because of the "forceful, vicious nature" of the allegations and because McClard has a lengthy juvenile record that shows numerous attempts at rehabilitation have been unsuccessful.

"Because of the nature and seriousness of the crime, this case did not belong in juvenile court," said Cape Girardeau County Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle.

Voshage's mother said Thursday she knows the McClard family and can sympathize with what they are going through.

"I don't think it's a victory in anybody's case," she said after McClard was certified as an adult.

Voshage suffered gunshot wounds to the ankle, groin and midsection. Doctors were unable to remove bullets from the midsection and groin, and Voshage remains mostly paralyzed below the waist.

There has been some improvement, but his mobility remains limited, his mother said.

McClard is being held at the Cape Girardeau County Jail. His bond is set at $250,000.


335-6611, extension 245

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