- Associated Press - Thursday, March 12, 2020

FAWN, Pa. (AP) - A high school student who struck and seriously injured a younger teen with a crowbar after the other boy struck him with it first must stand trial on attempted homicide and aggravated assault charges, a judge has ruled.

The decision was made Wednesday after prosecutors argued that the 17-year-old student crossed a line between self-defense and attempted homicide when he didn’t stop the street brawl after disarming the 14-year-old. His public defender had argued his client’s actions did not rise to that level where those charges were warranted.

The two Highlands School District students were arguing on the bus on March 3 when the older teen opened the emergency exit and ran out when the bus stopped on a road in Fawn, authorities have said. The younger boy followed, grabbing a crowbar that was mounted near the bus driver, authorities said.

The 14-year-old then hit the 17-year-old in the knee with the crowbar, authorities said, but the older teen soon got control of the crowbar. He then repeatedly hit the younger boy in the stomach and head, causing several skull fractures and other injuries.

Authorities have not said what the two boys were arguing about.

The 14-year-old suffered a brain injury and remains hospitalized in critical condition, but he’s expected to recover. However, his long-term prognosis is unknown, Gerlach said.

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