Traci Combs- Valerie comments on case

Boy accused of bringing loaded gun to Middletown school released

The Rosa Parks Elementary third-grader wiggled with his hands on the defense table as he waited for a pretrial hearing to begin Friday before Butler County Juvenile Court Magistrate John Bruewer.

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Defense attorney Traci Combs-Valerio asked the boy be released to the custody of his aunt. He has been housed in juvenile detention since his arrest by Middletown police on Oct. 16 after the incident at Rosa Parks Elementary School.

(He) would like to be released,” Combs-Valerio said, noting the boy’s age and small stature. “He is not the typical kid you see in JDC. He is small and a little immature.”

The probation department also recommended the boy be released on home incarceration. Bruewer granted that request and ordered him to have no contact with others involved in the case and to stay away from the school.

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After the hearing, Combs-Valerio said the boy reported that he was being bullied at the school and there was an altercation at a football game outside of school premises that led to the incident.

Police say the third-grader came to school with a loaded 9 millimeter gun and four bullets in his pocket

According to the complaint obtained Friday by this news outlet, a teacher observed the weapon in the waistband of the boy’s pants.

“(The teacher) put her hand on the weapon and asked about it. (The juvenile) grabbed a pair of scissors and raised them above his head to stab teacher. Teacher grabbed that arm to stop him from stabbing her,” Officer Robin Rawlins wrote in the criminal complaint.

The scissors were described by police as safety scissors with rounded points.

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“Now his story is that he was trying to distract her, saying the scissors is what he had in his pocket,” Middletown Police Lt. Scott Reeve told this news outlet last week.

Bruewer ordered a competency evaluation hearing for the boy and scheduled a pre-trial hearing for Dec. 7.

The boy is charged with illegal conveyance of a deadly weapon in a school safety zone, CCW and felonious assault.

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Combs-Valerio said the competency evaluation will determine if at his age he understands the charges against him and the “complicated legal system.”

She described him as a “very smart little boy. I don’t think he is a risk to himself or anyone else at this time. Releasing him was the right thing to do.”