Boy sentenced for bringing loaded gun to Lawrence High School
photo by: Journal-World File Photo
Story updated at 5:44 p.m. Monday:
A teen who reportedly brought a gun to Lawrence High School last year has been sentenced to time served.
The boy, a 14-year-old student at the time, stole a 9 mm handgun from a parent in December 2019, according to court documents. On Jan. 8, 2020, another student at Lawrence High School reported that the boy might have brought a weapon to school, according to a news release district spokesperson Julie Boyle sent at the time.
Staff and police then confiscated a loaded firearm from the student, according to the release, and there was “no incident or threat made with the weapon,” Boyle said.
The boy was charged with low-level felony theft and a misdemeanor, criminal use of weapons, for allegedly unlawfully possessing a firearm with a barrel less than 12 inches long as a minor.
Court records show the boy was held in juvenile detention for about two weeks before he was released to house arrest with electronic monitoring. The boy was also required to attend day detention school, to have no contact with firearms or any weapons of any kind, to submit to random drug and alcohol testing and to get mental health treatment, according to the records.
In November, the boy pleaded no contest to criminal use of weapons for possessing a firearm on school property, a misdemeanor, court records show. The boy was ordered to write a letter of apology to the school as part of the plea agreement. The records indicate that the boy obtained an evaluation and written report from a mental health professional.
Juvenile Pro Tem Judge Paul Klepper sentenced the teen to time served with no further program participation, based on recommendations from attorneys and Douglas County Youth Services, according to a sentencing order signed Dec. 29. Klepper also waived the boy’s court costs and fees.
The incident marked the third gun that LHS administrators had reportedly taken from students in a 12-month span. In February 2019, two students were found to be in possession of guns, and a third student was discovered to be carrying a Taser because it accidentally deployed.
As the Journal-World reported, altogether from April 2018 through January 2020, the district had six confirmed incidents of students bringing guns to schools or exchanging them on school grounds.
The boy has remained enrolled at Lawrence High, Boyle told the newspaper via email Monday.
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• Jan. 8, 2020 — Student brought loaded gun to Lawrence High School, district says
• Aug. 21, 2019 — Teen sentenced to probation for bringing gun to Lawrence High School
• July 3, 2019 — Teen who brought gun to school sentenced to probation, house arrest
• Feb. 27, 2019 — Teen sentenced to 6 months of probation in gun exchange at Lawrence High
• Feb. 15, 2019 — Taser confiscated from Lawrence High student at school, district says
• Feb. 14, 2019 — Boy who took gun to LHS this week stole it from parent, charges allege
• Sept. 14, 2018 — 2 arrested after reported gun sale between students at Lawrence High School
Coverage of other weapons incidents, threats of violence in Lawrence schools
• April 9, 2018 — Gun found in backpack at Free State High School; student arrested
Lawrence school district response to weapons incidents, threats
• April 22, 2019 — Lawrence school board likely won’t support metal detectors in schools