NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (Feb. 17, 2023) – The 12-year-old arrested for taking a handgun to Welty Middle School and showing it off in a restroom at the end of the school day on Feb. 2nd is now admitting to the three counts in a complaint against him.
Assistant County Prosecutor Doug Jackson says the admission was made during a scheduled pretrial hearing in Tuscarawas County Juvenile Court on Thursday.
The complaint contained felony counts of carrying a concealed weapon and illegally conveying a firearm in a school zone, along with a misdemeanor count of inducing panic.
“Getting an admission from him on the original complaint was my first priority,” said Jackson. “I’m happy that that’s the way it ended up.”
Jackson says the child will remain at the Muskingum County attention center while a psychological evaluation and investigation into the child’s living situation are performed.
The student will then be sentenced at a disposition hearing in April where punishment could include time in a juvenile prison or another facility, possibly lasting between six and 12 months.
The .22-caliber gun was not loaded at school, but ammunition was found in the child’s backpack. No one was injured in the incident.
“The outlook from the office is this was obviously a very serious and potentially deadly situation, something we do not take lightly at all,” Jackson said.
Jackson says the 12-year-old was able to get the gun from a family member at the home who had kept it stored.