Butler County Times Gazette
  • Juvenile charged with bringing gun to EHS placed in detention

  • A juvenile charged with brining a gun to El Dorado High School appeared before Judge Charles Hart in district court Friday afternoon.
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  • A juvenile charged with brining a gun to El Dorado High School appeared before Judge Charles Hart in district court Friday afternoon.
    The juvenile, whose initials are T.J., has been charged with Defacing Identification Marks of a Firearm, a Level 10 nonperson felony, and Criminal Use of a Weapon, a Class A nonperson misdemeanor.
    The gun T.J. brought to school was a .25 caliber Raven, along with a clip that did not contain any bullets.
    Friday's hearing was to determine whether T.J. would be placed under home arrest or continue to spend time in a detention facility until a later hearing.
    Prior to beginning the hearing, Hart spoke with T.J.'s lawyer, Pat Mitchell, and T.J.'s probation officer Vicki Lawrence.
    Hart noted that T.J. has been involved in other incidents and Lawrence told him she has been working with T.J. since July 2012.
    "She says you're very capable as far as doing work in school," Hart told T.J. "In regards to the other three cases, you come into her office as required, but you haven't gotten involved in completing community service. She says you know right from wrong."
    Last month, T.J. brought a knife to school and received a detention as a result.
    On Jan. 23, an expulsion hearing will be held by the school district.
    Assistant Butler County Attorney Brett Sweeney said the state has found probable cause to ask the court to keep T.J. in a detention facility.
    "The state would be arguing for continued detention," said Sweeney. "The allegations here are a handgun in the school. Inherently those facts are dangerous."
    Sweeney also noted brining the gun to school was a violation of T.J.'s probation.
    "This is a serious offense," continued Sweeney.
    Following Sweeney's remarks, Mitchell addressed the court. He acknowledged T.J.'s family members who were at the hearing and said they were prepared to monitor T.J. if house arrest was chosen by the court.
    Mitchell noted T.J. was on house arrest for two days this week and no incidents were reported.
    Mitchell also argued that if T.J. was placed in a detention facility, T.J. might not get a mental health evaluation.
    "Why not start the treatment now instead of essentially just delaying it?" asked Mitchell.
    Mitchell also noted T.J. did not threaten anyone with the gun.
    "That's not someone who's necessarily a threat," he said.
    After listening to Sweeney and Mitchell, Hart decided to place T.J. in a detention facility.
    Page 2 of 2 - Hart also advised that contact be made with South Central Mental Health in order to get an evaluation for T.J.
    T.J. will remain in detention while awaiting a hearing scheduled for Jan. 31 at 1 p.m.

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