Crime

Court postpones decision of whether to try accused North Thurston shooter as an adult

It will be several weeks — if not months — before a judge decides whether the 16-year-old boy who fired a gun at North Thurston High School should be charged as an adult.

The teen suspect appeared before Commissioner Indu Thomas on Tuesday afternoon in Thurston County Juvenile Court. His attorney, Sharonda Amamilo, appealed for more time before the decision is made.

“There are multiple records that have to be acquired from out of state, and we have a consultant who cannot see (the suspect) prior to September,” Amamilo said.

She said that she hopes to have a better idea of the timetable within the next two weeks.

Thomas agreed to postpone the decision, and scheduled a review hearing for June 9. Meanwhile, he remains in custody at the Juvenile Detention Facility.

“I understand that we may not have sufficient information at that time, but I want to keep checking in,” Thomas said.

The teen has been charged with five crimes related to the April 27 incident in which he allegedly fired a .357 Magnum twice inside the high school before a teacher subdued him. No one was injured in the incident.

The teen has been charged with theft of a firearm, harassment, unlawful possession of a firearm in the second degree, possession of a firearm on school grounds, and discharging a firearm or dangerous weapon.

The suspect’s criminal history includes three fourth-degree assault convictions from late 2014. According to King County court documents, he was arrested Oct. 14 after two female classmates at his former school reported that they had been groped by the teen on multiple occasions.

He was expelled from Mount Rainier High School in Des Moines and pleaded guilty to all three charges in November. He was sentenced to 30 days in a juvenile detention facility, two years of probation and 20 hours of community service and counseling.

A mental evaluation conducted after the incident at North Thurston High School determined that the suspect did not qualify to be detained in a mental health facility.

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