Butler County Times Gazette
  • Juvenile charged with bringing gun to school under house arrest

  • A juvenile charged with bringing a gun to El Dorado High School on Jan. 14, 2013 has been released from a detention facility and placed under house arrest.
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  • A juvenile charged with bringing a gun to El Dorado High School on Jan. 14, 2013 has been released from a detention facility and placed under house arrest.
    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. allegedly brought to school was a .25 caliber Raven, along with a clip that did not contain any bullets.
    T.J. had been in a detention facility since a hearing on Jan. 18.
    At a hearing Thursday afternoon, Judge Kristin Hutchinson asked if T.J. understood the charges.
    "Yes, Your Honor," replied T.J.
    Hutchinson then asked, "How do you plead?"
    T.J.'s attorney, Pat Mitchell, answered that T.J. pleads not guilty to the charges.
    A control hearing was then set for March 7 at 1:30 p.m.
    Following the scheduling of the next hearing, Hutchinson listened as Mitchell and Assistant Butler County Attorney Brett Sweeney discussed whether or not T.J. should remain in a detention facility.
    "At the last hearing [T.J.] was detained pending some type of evaluation," said Mitchell. "We have provided the state and the court with a copy of the report."
    Mitchell went on to say the doctor who evaluated T.J. felt T.J. was not a danger to self or the community, but should receive therapy.
    Mitchell said he understands the public skittishness regarding a gun at a school but said this one was unloaded.
    He also said T.J.'s mother, who was in attendance at the hearing along with other family members, has put together a plan to monitor T.J. at home.
    "The longer [T.J.] sits in detention, the farther behind [T.J.] gets in school," said Mitchell. "There are some issues that are not going to be addressed in detention."
    Mitchell asked Hutchinson for a release to house arrest, and said electronic monitoring could be utilized.
    "They're here, they want to help," Mitchell said of T.J.'s family. "I just don't see where detention is in the public's best interest or my client's."
    Mitchell said T.J. needs therapy, and accessing this would be more difficult in detention than under house arrest.
    At an earlier hearing, Sweeney spoke in favor of placing T.J. in detention.
    "I talked about the severity of the charges," Sweeney said of his statements during T.J.'s previous hearing. "I do still have some concerns given the nature of the allegations, but I would leave determination of continued detention to the discretion of the court."
    Page 2 of 2 - Hutchinson noted the allegations are serious, but decided to place T.J. under house arrest.
    "I am going to make a finding that [T.J.] is no longer a danger to [self] or others," she said. "I am going to release you from detention."
    She stipulated T.J. will have to wear an electronic monitoring device. T.J. will not be able to leave home except for appointments with therapists and Mitchell, and must be accompanied during those trips.
    "At this point I will allow brother and sister to help with supervision," said Hutchinson.
    The siblings will help monitor T.J. when T.J.'s mother is at work.
    Hutchinson also directed T.J. to get involved in online school, and to otherwise not use the Internet at all. T.J. is also not to communicate with anyone other than Mitchell about the case.
    The home of T.J.'s mother is also not to have any alcohol, illegal substances or firearms in it during the time of T.J.'s house arrest.
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