13-year-old Indiana boy to learn fate in May school shooting
NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A 13-year-old boy who admitted shooting and wounding a classmate and a teacher at a suburban Indianapolis school was expected to learn Wednesday whether he will be sent to a state juvenile detention center in an attempt to rehabilitate him.
The boy admitted during a Nov. 5 hearing to shooting seventh-grade science teacher Jason Seaman and 13-year-old classmate Ella Whistler . He also apologized for the double shooting.
The boy's admission would be a guilty plea if he had been charged as an adult in the May 25 attack at Noblesville West Middle School, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of Indianapolis.
A Hamilton County judge was expected to announce Wednesday the disposition in the case, which is the juvenile court equivalent of a sentencing.
Prosecutors recommended at the Nov. 5 hearing that the boy be sent to the Indiana Department of Correction for placement in a state juvenile detention center, and that he be placed on probation until his 21st birthday.
The boy's defense attorneys requested that he be sent to a private residential treatment center rather than a juvenile facility, saying he could be influenced by older teenagers there.
Hamilton Circuit Court Judge Paul Felix could impose either of those dispositions Wednesday, or one of several other options.
The Associated Press isn't using the boy's name because he's charged as a juvenile.
Prosecutors said during last week's hearing that the youth found the keys to a basement safe in his family's home, unlocked it and removed two handguns and more than 100 rounds of ammunition that he brought to the school in a backpack.
Prosecutors said the boy "is obsessed with violence being committed upon innocent people" and that the day before the shooting he had filmed a video in his family's basement in which he made threats of violence and showed two handguns.
"Tomorrow's Friday, you know what that means. I have to take other people's lives before I take my own," the boy says in the video, according to prosecutors.
Whistler survived after being shot seven times, while Seaman, a seventh-grade science teacher, was shot three times. He testified last week that the boy returned to his classroom from a bathroom break and opened fire.
Seaman, a former college football player, said he threw a miniature basketball at the boy as he fired shots, and then tackled the youth and disarmed him.
Investigators testified that the boy's online history was filled with searches for school shootings and that the day before the shooting he searched for "What was the largest mass shooting in America" and looked for a "blueprint" of the school.