Thomas White to be tried as an adult
July 24, 2007
by Randy Turner

Memorial Middle School shooter Thomas Gregory White, 14, will be tried in adult court.

The ruling was issued Monday by Jasper County Circuit Court Judge David Mouton following two hearings in which White's public defenders presented evidence to show why his case should be remanded to juvenile court. White also had received the support of more than 100 letters written on his behalf, thanks to a campaign by the national group Justice for Juveniles. In the end, Mouton said Judge William Carl Crawford, who made the initial decision last year to certify White as an adult, did not err in his judgment:

"Defense counsel have asserted that there were various inadequacies in the juvenile court hearing in which the juvenile was certified to stand trial as an adult, that additional relevant evidence on numerous topics should have been admitted, and defense counsel have submitted in great detail what they believe the evidence should have been. This Court has carefully considered that additional evidence and is not convinced that the result in this case would have been any different had that evidence been introduced."

In his decision, Judge Mouton said White had been given due process. "The Honorable Judge William C. Crawford acted well within the Court's discretion under Section 211.070.1 and did not err in any respect in issuing the orders allowing Defendant to be prosecuted under the general law."

The case had originally been scheduled for an Aug. 6 trial, but that will be delayed until at least Aug. 20, according to Mouton.

White was 13 and a seventh grader at Memorial Middle School when he entered the school on Oct. 9 armed with an assault rifle, fired the weapon into the ceiling,and then allegedly attempted to shoot Principal Steve Gilbreth. Authorities say that failed when the weapon jammed. White is charged with two counts of assault, and one count each of unlawful use of a weapon, armed criminal action, and attempted escape.

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Courts change definition of an "adult"fdwdew135512007-09-19 23:55:04