Teen who brought gun to school sentenced to probation

PORT ANGELES — A teenage boy who brought a stolen handgun to school and showed it off to a classmate was sentenced to 12 months probation after pleading guilty to five charges and writing a letter of apology to the weapon’s owner.

The boy, who turned 17 March 1, was a junior at Port Angeles High School before being expelled following the Jan. 6 incident.

He has since moved to Minnesota, Clallam County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tracey Lassus said Friday.

The teenager, whom the Peninsula Daily News is not naming because he is a minor who was tried in juvenile court, pleaded guilty March 2.

He admitted to committing theft of a firearm, first-degree theft, second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of a dangerous weapon on school grounds, the prosecutor said, adding that the teen also pleaded guilty to a related charge of second-degree theft but had a related second-degree burglary charge dismissed.

In addition to imposing probation, Superior Court Judge Christopher Melly also sentenced the boy to 80 hours of community service.

He had served 66 days in detention on $100,000 bail.

The .32-caliber handgun was stolen Jan. 2 from a home in the 2300 block of Black Diamond Road south of downtown Port Angeles, according to court records.

The gun was discovered by school authorities in the boy’s backpack shortly before noon Jan. 6 in an auto body shop classroom, according to a Port Angeles Police Department arrest report.

A student had given a teacher a magazine containing a .32-caliber bullet and said it belonged to the boy.

During questioning at the high school, the teen admitted to stealing the gun and jewelry that a police officer also found in his possession, court records said.

The teenager stole the items while he was at a house with his father’s girlfriend, according to court documents.

She cleans the house for another woman and took the boy with her because he was under 24-hour supervision, according to court records.

The boy had been placed under supervision as part of conditions of release for prior misdemeanors and a felony, the details of which are sealed, Lassus said Friday.

The second-degree theft and burglary charges stem from his theft, from the same home, of an all-terrain vehicle valued at $3,500 that was found six days after the gun and jewelry were stolen.

It was found Jan. 8 undamaged 10 feet down an embankment off the 3500 block of Black Diamond Road, according to court documents.

The homeowner told authorities she believed the ATV was stolen after the gun and jewelry were taken.

The teen had submitted a letter of apology to the homeowner by the time he was sentenced March 2, Lassus said.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected] peninsuladailynews.com.

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