Tag Archives: Memorial Middle School

Memorial Middle School shooter released from detention

Joplin school shooter released from lockup:

Thomas White in 2009

Thomas White in 2009

One of the more the highly debated stories on this site was the one of Thomas White. In 2006 a 13-year–old White walked in to the halls of Memorial Middle School in Joplin, Missouri with his dad’s MAC-90. From what I can discern the MAC-90 is a variant of the infamous and ubiquitous AK-47. Hey look at me doing more research than most media outlets.

Anyway White fired some rounds into the air but the gun jammed. A shell casing failed to clear the gun so when White pointed the gun at his principal the gun did not fire. Only by a freak occurrence was no one killed. He claimed he was bullied but just like in so many other stories the claims were unsubstantiated and no ‘bullies’ were targeted. Even his father, Gregory White, was charged for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

White was sentenced in 2009 to spend up until his 21st birthday in a juvenile detention facility. A decision at the time I did not agree with. Two weeks ago however (always timely that Trench) White was released from said facility. Unlike most shooters I don’t think White is going to be much of a problem any more. According to reports he seems to have actually been rehabilitated. I still say that’s the exception and not the rule.

White plans on relocating to California which is probably for the best. I actually wish the kid the best of luck. Damn, I must be getting soft in my old age.

Thomas White sentenced to 10 years

Thomas White sentenced to 10 years in state custody:

Thomas White was sentenced to be a 10 year guest of the state for bring an assault rifle to Memorial Middle School in Joplin, MO, firing a shot into the ceiling and trying to fire a shot at the principal.

In reality the 16-year-old White will be held in a juvenile facility until around his 21st birthday. At that time a hearing will be held to see if he’s eligible for release.

Thomas White enters into plea

Joplin teen who fired gun inside middle school pleads guilty:

Joplin teen pleads guilty:

As you’ll recall Thomas White of Joplin, Missouri was arrested some years ago for firing an assault rifle inside of Memorial Middle School and trying to fire the gun at the principal but the gun jammed. The last we heard the now 16-year-old White was ruled incompetent to stand trial.

Recently he was found competent and entered into a plea agreement yesterday. Under the terms of the plea White has pleaded guilty to two assault charges and the remaining felony charges against him will be dropped.

Sentencing is set for September and more than likely White will be released before he becomes an adult.

Thomas White’s attorney seeks house arrest

House arrest sought for teen accused in school-gun incident:

The public defender for Thomas White is seeking to have his client put under house arrest while he awaits trial. White is the 14-year-old gunman who fired a round from an assault rifle into the ceiling of Memorial Middle School in Joplin, Missouri and allegedly tried to shoot his principal but the gun jammed. Let’s hear from White’s attorney, James Egan…

“Under our system, the purpose of bail is to ensure the defendant show up for trial,” Egan wrote in his motion. “Here, (defendant) is a 14-year-old boy with no means of transportation. Further, any inappropriate actions of (defendant) during the period he is on house arrest will certainly be used against him if this court grants the requested relief and there is another certification hearing. Moreover, (defendant) risks having the preliminary writ quashed if he flees the jurisdiction.”

The motion also says the boy is entitled under state law to educational services that “cannot be adequately provided” while he is in jail.

A 14-year-old may not have any means of transportation but I’m sure his parents do. And as we’ve seen at least one of his parents isn’t above breaking the law. If you remember White’s father Gregory White was an ex-felon who was in possession of a firearm. Not only that but we’ve already seen what Thomas White thinks of educational services. He fires bullets into them.

It’s his attorney’s fault that he hasn’t gone to trial yet anyway. His attorneys filed an appeal with the state Supreme Court back in September trying to get the case sent back to juvenile court. The state Supreme Court won’t even hear the appeal until February 28, 2008.

Besides it’s not like he’s been charged with jaywalking. He’s being charged with first-degree assault among other charges. House arrest would be a joke.

White’s lawyers appeal to Mo. Supreme Court

Lawyers take school shooting case to Mo. Supreme Court:

The lawyers for Thomas White are appealing to the Missouri Supreme Court to have White tried as a juvenile.

Public defenders said Monday they have appealed to reverse a lower court’s July decision that Thomas White, 14, should be tried as an adult. He faces four felony counts related to the school shooting last October and a charge of attempted escape from juvenile custody.

White was 13 at the time of the shooting at Memorial Middle School.

Nobody was injured when White allegedly fired a single shot into the ceiling. Prosecutors allege that White repeatedly tried to shoot the school’s principal but that the gun jammed.

The public defenders are just delaying the inevitable. Now all court proceedings will be postponed until the state supreme court issues a decision or reverts the case back to a lower court. My prediction is that the Missouri Supreme Court will more than likely refuse to hear the case.

If they do hear the case I’m sure they’ll get a bunch of tear-stained letters from suburban housewives who think no teen is capable of murder. Just on that possibility alone I wouldn’t hear the case if I was a Justice.

Thomas White given continuance

Rally held for Thomas White; continuance allowed:

This is, in my opinion, a very biased but well written article about the rally that was held for Thomas White yesterday.

Again, white is the teen gunman who fired a MAC-90 round into his school’s ceiling then pointed the gun at his principal while pulling the trigger after the gun jammed.

First off let me say that people who drag their kids to protests or rallies, no matter what the protest/rally is about, are asshats. It makes you look like you’re exploiting your kids. Not only that but you never know when a protester is going to clash with police putting your kids in danger.

But getting back to the matter at hand, Thomas White’s mother Norma was at the rally…

Norma White, pictured, who stood nearby often close to tears, expressed remorse that she didn’t do more to protect her child whom she said came home with a “swollen hand” and other signs of school abuse. Subsequently, she had discovered, she said, that a teacher’s remedy for handling bullies was to “turn and walk away.”

She also was sorry that she was not more outspoken earlier, but that she was following the advice of her son’s former attorney Chuck Lonardo who said to “keep quiet.” “I decided that just wasn’t working,” she said. She hopes that speaking out will get more community support.

A swollen hand? That’s it? So he brought a gun to school over a swollen hand? His generation really does have its fair share of over-sensitive marshmallows. And in my opinion I don’t think that she decided it was time to talk. I get the feeling that certain advocacy groups whispered in her ear. That’s not an allegation. It’s just a feeling I have. If Norma White wanted to do more maybe she should have gotten rid of the illegally owned guns in her house.

The hearing to see if Thomas White will be sent back to juvenile court has been delayed two weeks.

While Judge Mouton expressed concern over delaying the case in order, as requested by the defense, to present further testimony from three unnamed witnesses, he granted a two-week continuance in support of Thomas White’s rights. His decision was made against the strong objection of the APA. In setting the criminal motion hearing for Friday, July 20 at 1:30 p.m., Moulton was offering the defense another opportunity to make their case.

The people at the rally shouldn’t delude themselves though. I’m sure that the rally had nothing to do with the judge decisions to allow a continuance.

Rally for Thomas White

Rally planned for teenager accused in school shooting:

The “Won’t someone think of the children” people are at it again. Today a rally was planned to be held in front of the Jasper County Circuit Court in Joplin, Missouri this morning in honor of Thomas White. To refresh your memory White was the teenage gunman at Memorial Middle School in Joplin who fired a round from a MAC-90 into the ceiling of the school, the gun jammed, and White kept pulling the trigger while the gun was pointed at the school’s principal.

Supporters of the boy, who was 13 at the time of the alleged offenses, have planned a rally outside the Jasper County Courts Building before the hearing. White’s mother, Norma White, will attend the rally, according to an announcement issued by a group calling itself Justice for Thomas White.

The boy has received an outpouring of support in recent months from a number of juvenile-advocacy groups, including Justice for Juveniles, the Anti-Bullying Coalition and Bully Police, U.S.A., who argue that the boy is too young to stand trial as an adult.

Yeah, because it worked so well the last time.

White’s parents have said he faced bullying by other students, contributing to what they say was his dread of school and an effort to get himself expelled by taking a loaded gun there.

School officials have said White and his parents never took any complaints of bullying to administrators before the shooting incident.

There’s other ways to get yourself expelled that don’t involve firearms. Hell, bring a joint to school. That should work with a lot less complications. Not that I’m buying that story anyway.

How did the rally go? No clue because I don’t care. It probably didn’t do any good anyway.

Gregory White sentenced

Joplin man convicted for having firearms, ammunition in house:

Gregory White, the father of Memorial Middle School shooter Thomas White, was sentenced to 18 months in a federal prison for possessing firearms as a convicted felon.

White had convictions of attempted burglary in Florida in 1980 and a meth conviction in California in 1988.

White’s attorney, federal public defender Ann Koszuth, argued for a sentence at the lower end of the range, referring to her client as “a very solid and good family man,” with a good work history and only a distant criminal past.

“This is a family that’s going to need its father back as quickly as possible,” Koszuth told the judge.

The judge said he recognized this was “not the typical case we see here for a felon in possession.”

“On the other hand, the number of guns you had is not just a slight violation,” Dorr said.

Seems like a fair sentence to me.

Testimony in White hearing

Joplin seventh-grader bound over for trial in school shooting:

Let’s take a look at some of the testimony in yesterday’s preliminary hearing about Thomas White, the 14-year-old Memorial Middle School gunman.

During the preliminary hearing, two administrators testified that White pointed the assault rifle directly at them.

Steven Doerr, assistant superintendent of Joplin’s public schools, said White was pointing the rifle at another student in the school’s main hallway when Doerr saw him, ran up and told him to put the weapon down.

“He pulled the rifle down from his shoulder, pointed it up (toward the ceiling) and fired it,” Doerr testified. “The purpose of that, I think, was to demonstrate to me it was a real rifle and loaded and he meant business.”

Doerr said White told him to go away, so Doerr stepped into a nearby classroom and called 911.

Stephen Gilbreth, Memorial Middle School’s principal, said that when he heard the gunshot he ran out of his office and into the hall where White was standing. Gilbreth said he approached the boy, who was wearing a mask and hood, and repeatedly told him to put the rifle down and leave the building.

Gilbreth said he thought White was trying to fire the gun when the boy repeatedly jabbed the weapon toward the principal. Police later said the rifle jammed because of improper seating of an ammunition clip in the gun.

“The only thing he (White) said the whole time was, ‘Don’t make me do it,’” Gilbreth testified. “He was making a motion with the gun toward me. I thought he was trying to discharge the weapon but I couldn’t be sure.”

Gilbreth said White then headed down some stairs and out of the building, with the principal behind him repeatedly encouraging him to keep walking and leave the school. White stopped once to look back and moved the gun toward Gilbreth, the principal testified.

“I put my hands in my pockets (and) said, ‘I’m not doing anything, bud. Let’s just keep going,’” Gilbreth said.

This is why he needs to be tried as an adult. Clearly there was an intent to do harm. Only by the grace of God did the gun jam and no one was injured. It’s not like he brought a gun to school to show off to his friends and it accidentally discharged. If that happened I’d say yeah try him as a juvenile. But these actions show wanton malice on the part of White.

The max he’s looking at is 49 years. I doubt he’ll get anywhere near that much but I won’t lose any sleep if he does.

Additional charges filed in Memorial Middle shooting

White hearing postponed again:

Thomas White, the 14-year-old gunman in the Memorial Middle School shooting, has had a preliminary hearing postponed because prosecutors have filed additional charges.

Jasper County Assistant Prosecutor Todd Hawkins said after reviewing police records, the prosecutor’s office filed two additional charges against White Monday afternoon – a second first degree assault charge and a felony charge of unlawful use of a weapon.

No word on how much that could potentially add to his sentence.