Memorial Middle School shooter released from detention

Joplin school shooter released from lockup:

Thomas White in 2009

Thomas White in 2009

One of the more the highly debated stories on this site was the one of Thomas White. In 2006 a 13-year–old White walked in to the halls of Memorial Middle School in Joplin, Missouri with his dad’s MAC-90. From what I can discern the MAC-90 is a variant of the infamous and ubiquitous AK-47. Hey look at me doing more research than most media outlets.

Anyway White fired some rounds into the air but the gun jammed. A shell casing failed to clear the gun so when White pointed the gun at his principal the gun did not fire. Only by a freak occurrence was no one killed. He claimed he was bullied but just like in so many other stories the claims were unsubstantiated and no ‘bullies’ were targeted. Even his father, Gregory White, was charged for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

White was sentenced in 2009 to spend up until his 21st birthday in a juvenile detention facility. A decision at the time I did not agree with. Two weeks ago however (always timely that Trench) White was released from said facility. Unlike most shooters I don’t think White is going to be much of a problem any more. According to reports he seems to have actually been rehabilitated. I still say that’s the exception and not the rule.

White plans on relocating to California which is probably for the best. I actually wish the kid the best of luck. Damn, I must be getting soft in my old age.

Memorial Middle shooter was not bullied

Thomas White in 2009

Thomas White in 2009

This is a great editorial from reporter turned teacher Randy Turner from Joplin, Missouri.

Mr. Turner teaches at a middle school in Joplin but not Memorial Middle School where Thomas White bought a semi-automatic rifle to school and fired a round into the ceiling.

In his editorial Mr. Turner details about how he was targeted not only by the local media but also the group known as Justice for Juveniles who believe that no teen should ever be charged as an adult. You may have seen me refer to them as the Kid Criminal Crowd. He was targeted after he said that strong measures should be taken against anyone who brings a gun into a school.

Again its amazing how little actual investigation is done by the media in these cases and how they automatically believe any bullying claim made by shooters.

Mr. Turner has also investigated on his own about Thomas White being bullied and he discovered that White was not bullied at all. Yet this is the rallying cry behind everyone who supports White. This just shows that as soon as any kind of school shooting happens bullying is automatically the first thing that comes to a lot of people’s mind because of what I like to call The Columbine Myth. So many people believe that the Columbine cowards were bullied yet no real evidence exists to support that.

Thomas White sentenced to 10 years

Thomas White

Thomas White

Thomas White sentenced to 10 years in state custody:

Thomas White was sentenced to be a 10 year guest of the state for bring an assault rifle to Memorial Middle School in Joplin, MO, firing a shot into the ceiling and trying to fire a shot at the principal.

In reality the 16-year-old White will be held in a juvenile facility until around his 21st birthday. At that time a hearing will be held to see if he’s eligible for release.

Thomas White enters into plea

Joplin teen who fired gun inside middle school pleads guilty:

Joplin teen pleads guilty:

As you’ll recall Thomas White of Joplin, Missouri was arrested some years ago for firing an assault rifle inside of Memorial Middle School and trying to fire the gun at the principal but the gun jammed. The last we heard the now 16-year-old White was ruled incompetent to stand trial.

Recently he was found competent and entered into a plea agreement yesterday. Under the terms of the plea White has pleaded guilty to two assault charges and the remaining felony charges against him will be dropped.

Sentencing is set for September and more than likely White will be released before he becomes an adult.

Thomas White officially ruled incompetent

Judge rules teen unable to assist in own defense:

On Friday a judge made it official by ruling that Memorial Middle School gunman Thomas White is mentally incompetent to assist in his own defense.

White’s psychiatric report remains private but doctors who had previously examined him believe that he is schizophrenic.

White will now be in the custody of the Missouri Department of Mental Health. The department will report back to the court in six months.

Memorial Middle shooter avoids trial

No trial for school shooter:

Thomas White’s mother has told the media that her son has been ruled mentally incompetent to stand trial.

White was the kid who fired off a round in to he ceiling of Memorial Middle School in Joplin, Missouri. The gun he had was his father’s MAC-90.

Without seeing how that evaluation came about I can’t comment on the legitimacy of the findings. However I can comment on what Norma White said to the press.

“He just doesn’t speak like a child would talk,” she said. “It’s a little hard to understand (him) sometimes, and also a little bit of rocking back and forth and he has no memory – very little memory of being a child. He’s asked ‘what was I like as a child?'”

I’m not saying she’s full of crap but I think she does have a flair for the overly dramatic. If it is true then why didn’t she get her son help? Why did it have to take her son firing a gun in school for her to finally do something about it?

Psych exam ordered for Thomas White

Mental exam ordered for school-gun teen:

A judge has ordered Thomas White to undergo a mental examination to see if he is competent enough to assist in his own defense.

If you’ll recall White is accused of discharging an assault rifle in Memorial Middle School in Joplin, MO. He is also accused of trying to shoot the principal but the gun jammed.

His defense is now claiming that White has schizophrenia. If it didn’t work for John Jason McLaughlin I seriously doubt it will work for White.

The judge did turn down a request for White to be released into the recognizance of his parents. You know, where his ex-drug dealer dad had the gun just lying around. That was probably a good idea.

Thomas White trial to remain in adult court

Missouri Supreme Court: Thomas White’s case to remain in adult court:

The State Supreme Court of Missouri has ruled that the trial for Thomas White will remain in adult court.

White was 13 when he discharged a round into the ceiling from a MAC-90 assault rifle at Memorial Middle School in Joplin, Missouri.

Police allege that he tried firing the gun at the principal of the school but the gun had jammed.

Bond reduction denied for Thomas White

Judge denies defense motion to release Thomas White on house arrest or reduced bond:

We already knew that Thomas White’s request for house arrest had been denied. Now his request for a reduction in his $250K bond has also been denied.

Judge David Mouton said that due to the seriousness of the crimes in this case, he was overruling the defense requests.

In October 2006 White brought a MAC-90 to school, fired a round into the ceiling and police say he tried pulling the trigger while the gun was pointed at Memorial Middle School’s principal but the gun jammed.

Judge Moulton said he won’t rule on a request to have White tutored while in jail until the State Supreme Court rules on it.

White’s mom seems to blame the court rather than her son for his predicament.

Norma White said she was “hoping” but not “expecting” a favorable ruling for her son but added afterward: “It is par for the course for everything he has ruled on before.”

That’s what usually happens when you allow your son to take an illegally owned firearm to school.

So it's not about the bullying in Joplin

Middle-school shooting suspect claimed he wasn’t targeting anyone:

Ever since Thomas White fired a round from a MAC-90 into the ceiling of Memorial Middle School in Joplin, Missouri his defenders have declared that it was because he was bullied and the school wouldn’t do anything about it. Yet in recently released documents White himself claims it was because he was failing in school and saw no other option.

The 13-year-old boy believed he was failing four out of his six classes at Memorial Middle School. He felt it had got him “into trouble at home,” and he didn’t see anyway to improve his grades.

How about studying and doing your work. Did you ever think of that. Look, I was no Valedictorian but the only person who was responsible for my bad grades was me.

Anyway the fact that he claims that his failing would get him into “trouble at home” makes me think that we should be looking once again at the White family and not the school.

As I’ve previously posted Thomas White’s father is a former drug dealer who was in illegal possession of a firearm. The same firearm that Thomas White used at his school.

Also White said that he had no target in mind except to scare the teachers.

Thomas White told them “he just wanted to scare people,” according to a statement of facts drawn up by public defender James Egan and submitted as part of a brief filed this past week with the state’s high court. When asked specifically whom he was trying to scare, he’d told them “all the teachers,” according to the brief.

According to police White tried firing the gun at his principal but the gun had already jammed. White even admits to trying to fire the gun.

White eventually “admitted,” during a second interrogation, that he’d tried to fire the gun more than once, although the brief claims this “admission” was elicited by his interrogators with the assistance of his own attorney at the time,

His new attorneys say that his previous defense was inadequate. It sounds like to me he was trying to get him the best deal possible. Now the case is tied up while attorneys argue that White should not be tried as an adult.