Why Was A Middle School Student Fleeing The Country?

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

BLOG POST #44: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving a middle school student.

Fearing a gang member was going to harm him, a 14-year-old boy brought a weapon to school .

Between classes the 14-year-old student walked up to a classmate, and in the presence of other students, shot the alleged gang member in the back of his head killing him.

The 14-year-old was arrested and charged with murder. After surrendering his passport and posting bond, he was released to the custody of his parents.

A few months prior to his trial, the young boy, his mother, and younger sister were detained at a bus station far from home. They had a large amount of cash and new passports issued by the country the student’s family was originally from. The Embassy for that country was unaware of the pending murder trial. The family was legally living in the United States.

The boy’s parents were arrested and charged with Hindering Prosecution, a Class C felony. Both parents pleaded guilty to Attempted Hindering Prosecution, a misdemeanor and were sentenced to one year of probation.

Scheduled to be tried as an adult, the former middle school student pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Worth mentioning: Days after the murder took place the city chartered a School Task Force to (among other things) review nationally recognized Gang Awareness training. The School Task Force identified concerns to the safety of their schools. One pertinent concern was (in part) indicators reflect that weapons may at times be brought on school property. The Task Force recommendation was to consider using training efforts on how to report and respond to reported weapons incidents, in addition to considering the use of portable wands to detect weapons on a case by case basis.

What do you think about this case? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools. Your relevant comments are always welcome on the Research Blog.

Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

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