Bail was set Wednesday morning at $110,000 for a teenager accused of firing a gun at Scotlandville High School earlier in the week after prosecutors said they believed he was aiming at a particular student.
During a hearing before Baton Rouge Juvenile Judge Adam Haney, Curtis Nelson Jr., an East Baton Rouge Parish assistant prosecuting attorney, argued bail should be high because the 14-year-old accused in the Monday incident was trying to shoot a specific student and not just firing at random.
The teen, a freshman who had recently transferred to Scotlandville High, is accused of attempted second-degree murder after he fired multiple shots in a courtyard at the north Baton Rouge public school following a confrontation with a few other students. No one was injured in the incident.
Neal Wilkinson, the teenager's attorney, argued against the higher bail, saying this was the first time the boy had been in juvenile court.
Wilkinson said the teen's father, who was at the hearing, "is very shocked at what happened and will be sure to keep a close eye on him."
The teen, dressed in an orange jail jumpsuit, didn't say anything during the hearing.
The most serious count, attempted second-degree murder, accounts for $100,000 of the $110,000 bail. Haney also set bail of $5,000 apiece for additional counts of aggravated assault and for carrying a gun on school property. The attorneys had already agreed to drop counts of aggravated criminal damage to property and illegal use of a weapon.
The case is going to remain in Juvenile Court. Nelson invoked a state law that lists several violent crimes that could justify having a 14-year-old tried in adult court, a list that does not include attempted second-degree murder.
The 14-year-old also faces likely expulsion from the high school. Louisiana’s Zero Tolerance law specifies that schools are required to recommend expulsion when a student brings a gun to school. The student can appeal that recommendation.
More details about what happened Monday continued to emerge Wednesday as investigators with East Baton Rouge Parish school system and the parish Sheriff’s Office concluded interviews with students and witnesses.
Adonica Duggan, a spokeswoman for the school system, reiterated Wednesday that Monday’s shooting grew out of a quickly escalating fight on social media between the alleged shooter and four other students.
“School administrators were told that the dispute originated from a comment one of the other students made on a post on the alleged shooter’s Instagram account,” Duggan said.
Duggan would not say if the other students are subject to disciplinary measures.
Casey Rayborn Hicks, a spokeswoman for the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, said the other students were “witnesses and victims” in this incident and consequently are not facing any criminal counts.
Hicks and Duggan said the 14-year-old fired three shots. Hicks said he had a 9 mm Smith & Wesson handgun.
Hicks confirmed what prosecutors said in court Wednesday — that the alleged shooter was aiming the handgun at one student in particular. She also said investigators have examined footage of the shooting from school security cameras.