One teen convicted for exchange of gun on Lawrence High School grounds

photo by: Mike Yoder

Lawrence High School is pictured on Nov. 6, 2015.

Updated at 4:55 p.m. Tuesday

One of two students accused of exchanging a stolen handgun on the Lawrence High School grounds has been convicted.

One of the teens stole the gun from his own father on Sept. 9, 2018, then provided it to the other teen the next day, court documents allege.

The teen who ended up with the gun pleaded no contest last week to criminal use of weapons, for being under 18 and possessing a gun with a barrel less than 12 inches long, according to Cheryl Wright Kunard, assistant to the Douglas County district attorney. The conviction is a misdemeanor.

Initially, he had been charged with felony theft for obtaining control of a stolen gun, according to the complaint.

His sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 27. Wright Kunard said he is not currently in custody.

He is currently enrolled at LHS, school district spokeswoman Julie Boyle said.

The other teen also was charged with felony theft for allegedly stealing the gun — a Hi-Point JHP45 model — from his father, according to the complaint and other case documents. His case remains pending.

Boyle said that teen is no longer enrolled in the district.

When they were arrested and charged in September, the teens were 14 and 15 and both students at LHS, 1901 Louisiana St.

Lawrence police and school leaders looked into the situation after a parent reported hearing about a student selling a firearm to another student, LHS Principal Matt Brungardt said in an email to school parents at the time. He said police investigated further and recovered the gun off campus.

After the arrests, Boyle said disciplinary action had been “initiated” in accordance with district policy. This week, she declined to answer whether either boy ultimately was disciplined in connection with the incident and, if so, how.

“In order to protect the privacy rights of students, the district does not share information about disciplinary matters,” Boyle said in an email.

Contact Journal-World public safety reporter Sara Shepherd


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