Judge: Middletown boy too young to understand gun charges against him

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Combined ShapeCaption
Butler County Juvenile Court Judge Kathleen Romans ruled the boy incompetent to stand trial do to his age

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The case against a 9-year-old Middletown boy who allegedly brought a loaded gun to school has been dismissed.

A Butler County juvenile judge ruled Thursday that the third-grader was too young to understand the charges against him.

“He appears to be a bright young man, but he is just too young to understand,” Butler County Juvenile Court Judge Kathleen Romans said, adding that she only knew of two times charges have been filed against a 9-year-old child.

The Rosa Parks Elementary student was charged with illegal conveyance of a deadly weapon in a school safety zone and felonious assault in October after a teacher found a gun and extra bullets in his pocket, according to police.

MORE: Boy accused of bringing loaded gun to Middletown elementary released

The boy spent 10 days in the Butler County Juvenile Detention Center before being released to a family member in late October.

Romans asked the boy a battery of questions, including what a lawyer does, and what a trial is. She also quizzed him on whether he knew the meaning of felonious assault.

“No,” the boy said and shook his head.

But he did tell the judge he knew why he was in her courtroom.

“Because I brought a gun to school,” he said, adding that he found the gun in a drawer while “snooping.”

MORE: Mom’s boyfriend charged after child brings loaded gun to Middletown school

The judge asked the boy if he was willing to go to counseling, and he answered, “yes.”

“Son, you can never be around guns. Do you know what can happen?” Romans asked the boy.

In a small but clear voice, the boy said, “someone could get killed.”

About the Author