Lex teen sentenced for taking gun on school grounds – What they are saying!!!!

Lex teen sentenced for taking gun on school grounds

Lou Whitmire, lwhitmir@mansfieldnewsjournal.com

4:20 p.m. EST November 5, 2014



MANSFIELD – The Lexington teen who brought a loaded gun to football practice in August was sentenced today in Richland County Juvenile Court.

Judge Ron Spon ordered the 15-year-old be sentenced to the Ohio Department of Youth Services for six months, as required by law, but Spon immediately suspended the sentence, laying out numerous conditions and community control/probation until age 21.

Spon said the teen has not had much of a criminal history before this incident.

The teen, whom the News Journal is not identifying, was charged with illegal conveyance of a firearm into a school safety zone in August. In September, the teen was expelled from the Lexington schools, according to Superintendent J. Michael Ziegelhofer.

The teen has served 78 days in juvenile detention. Spon said he would consider releasing the youth on the 90th day, which could be in 12 days, taking into consideration time served. A detention review hearing will be held.

Initially the teen’s attorney Terry Hitchman opposed the media being present for the disposition. Richland County First Assistant Prosecutor John Nieft said he did not oppose the media’s presence. The News Journal was not planning to name the youth, thus the reporter was permitted to stay for the teen’s hearing.

His family members sat quietly in the courtroom.

Spon talked to the teen about the seriousness of his actions.

“When I go home I need to change my behavior,” he told the judge when the judge asked for reassurances that nothing like this would occur in the future.

The judge said he had reports of bullying occurring, and said bringing a weapon to school was not the solution. The teen said he would tell an adult in the future instead of carrying a weapon.

“Never let your own emotions get control of you and drive your decisions. It’s a very bad place to be,” Spon told him.

Spon attached numerous conditions to the teen’s case going forward, including both parents being present to discuss release conditions; the teen can’t be on Lexington schools property; no alcohol or illegal drugs; no possession of firearms, ammunition, air guns or knives; writing an apology letter to the Lexington schools; 100 hours of charity work; and family counseling. The teen also must participate in one positive activity each week, such as a church youth group, athletics or some other wholesome activity, Spon said.

Spon also required the youth participate in a Dream Team peer-oriented mentoring program. Spon will meet with the teen once every two weeks to monitor his progress for three to 15 months, and these meetings will involve parents, probation officer, counselor and others.

Nieft said the youth has anger issues and noted the teen had not had any counseling while incarcerated at the juvenile detention facility.

Earlier, Ziegelhofer said the expulsion is effective for the entire school year. The student will be permitted to return to Lexington schools on the first day of class of the 2015-16 school year, Ziegelhofer said.

Police received a call at 7:23 p.m. Aug. 20 from the football coaching staff. During practice, a student told staff that another student may have brought a gun to practice, police said.

Upon checking, staff found a loaded handgun in a backpack belonging to a student.

Earlier, Lexington police public information Officer Andrew Smallstey said the student was charged with illegal conveyance of a firearm into a school safety zone. No additional charges have been filed.

After being taken into custody without incident, the student told police the weapon was for protection.

Smallstey said the student brought a Ruger P-90, which is a .45-caliber handgun, onto the school grounds.

“The young man just moved into our district from a neighboring district,” Ziegelhofer said earlier. “He was not participating in football. He was interested in playing, but did not have all the requirements completed yet and was at practice observing.”

The 15-year-old boy enrolled in the district Aug. 19.

Ziegelhofer said the boys on the team overheard a conversation about a weapon in a backpack and told staff.

“Our head football coach and his staff handled it perfectly and our kids handled it perfectly,” Ziegelhofer said. “We tell them if you see something, tell someone. We harp on it and the outcome we had is because those kids were willing to do something right.”

Ziegelhofer said he and coaches met with parents and players the day after the incident.

The police incident report was filed by football coach Taylor Gerhardt.

The News Journal filed a public records request with Lexington police for additional police records about the incident. Smallstey said the request will be honored when the investigation is completed.



Twitter: @LWhitmir

Comments online

Ruth V Schwan ·  Top Commenter · Owner at Purr-L Harbor and Sand and Sea LLC

and again another hand slapping by this judge, the only message you send is “go ahead do what ya want, no need to worry I wont sentence you to what you should be sentenced for”…bet he will also end up in the special response court docket, for some more hand slapping. His name should be on blast, bet ya can get it from any kid at lexington who knows about it.

Reply · Like · Follow Post · 12 hours ago

Mike Monroe ·  Top Commenter · Butler, Ohio

Deputy Charles Whites son is the word on the street. Why is the Deputy not being charged in this as well. It was his gun right???

Reply · Like · Follow Post · 16 hours ago

Dan Litt · Galion, Ohio

Word is he’s a sheriffs kid. Is that why he’s not being identified?

Reply · Like · 2 · Follow Post · 16 hours ago

Pamela Kay · Mansfield Senior High School

He’s a juvenile…that is why.

Reply · Like · 14 hours ago

Dan Litt · Galion, Ohio

That’s funny, so are all the other shooters and kids who bring guns to school whos names are released.

Reply · Like · 14 hours ago


Comments on facebook

Mansfield News Journal shared a link.

17 hours ago

JUST IN: A detention hearing will be held after 12 more days to see if the teen who brought Ruger P-90 to football practice can be released. Judge Spon attached numerous conditions to the teen’s case going forward.http://ohne.ws/1ol21Go

Lex teen sentenced for taking gun on school grounds


The Lexington teen who brought a loaded gun to football practice in August was sentenced today in Richland County Juvenile Court. Judge Ron Spon ordered the 15-year-old be sentenced to the Ohio Department of Youth Services for six months, as required by law, but Spon immediately suspended the sentence, laying out…


Phil Sydnor

5 SharesLikeLike ·  · Share

Grace Rinehardt Ross He may get released?? That sounds like a genius idea!? Lock him up. Don’t know the whole story please tell me he is a well rounded child? Gawd parents pay attention!

17 hours ago · Like · 1

Jackie Javier Before we point the finger at this child why don’t we ask ourselves what happened to this child to push him to this point, who are we to judge him. We need to stop and think just how cruel children can be in today’s world, how do we know what he wasn’t trying to defend himself, I’m not excusing what he did as right BUT we do NOT know but one side of this story, please take that to heart when reading this!
Sincerely, A once troubled teenager!

16 hours ago · Like · 15

Jackie Javier Know that *^

16 hours ago · Like · 1

Liz White-morr We can judge him because he had a gun on school property. Think about the lives that would’ve been changed forever if he used it. Kids are mean but there has always been bullies, its part of life and always will be.

15 hours ago · Unlike · 6

Jackie Javier No we cannot Judge him, you don’t know his story, his back round or what pushed him to that point, it’s clear that you have not EVER been bullied or know someone who has, why don’t you do yourself a favor and research it, watch the movie “Bully” and the fact that you think that being bullied is a part of life SHAME ON YOU!! I will pray for you and that God has mercy on your soul! Bulling is an epidemic in today’s society, children are killing themselves or even worse because of it, like I said In my earlier post I’m not excusing what he did as right but you don’t know his story you have no idea what that child has had to go through, think before you speak! I wonder if the children were punished that he felt he needed protection from, I bet you won’t be reading about them in an article, they will move on to the next child until they have accomplished on breaking someone different them!!!!


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Bully Official Trailer #1 – Weinstein Company Movie (2012)…


14 hours ago · Like · 12

Amy Tittle Couldn’t have said it better myself Jackie!

13 hours ago · Like · 5

Liz White-morr You don’t know my life, I went to Lexington and was poor. I never fit in wasn’t ever a part of any group. I never once even thought about hurting anyone. My daughter was bullied last year so yes I do know the concern. After all the school shooting lately I don’t know how you can say “we don’t know his side”. I for one don’t care what his side was because he was wrong to have a gun in his possession. Would you still not judge the person if he’d actually used the gun? Maybe this experience will change his life for the better, but he still deserves to be punished.

13 hours ago · Like · 6

Jackie Javier And so do the children that pushed him into doing so, Did he bring the gun to school willing and ready to shoot 10 teachers and and students ????NO , HE WAS FORCED TO FEEL HE NEEDED TO PROTECT HIMSELF, Which further proves my point that you know NOTHING about bullying! I wouldn’t judge anyone without knowing or hearing both sides of the story, the paper has made this 15 year old to look like a monster when in fact he’s far from that, he’s child that was pushed to far!

13 hours ago · Like · 2

Jackie Javier It’s not a concern it’s AN EPIDEMIC, bullying stops at no lengths! The children that were doing the bullying are the ones this article should of been about! He has been punished, for months, while those other children are home with their family’s looking for the next child to bully!!

12 hours ago · Like · 3

Erika Hamner People always speak on what they don’t know. How are you going to say parents pay attention when you don’t even know the story? Smh I pray for people who comment on things they know NOTHING about.. Society

12 hours ago · Like · 5

Angelia Adams Is this the same kid where his dad is a police officer.

12 hours ago · Unlike · 1

Melissa Clark Greenwald I’m thinking that maybe as parents we should spend more time talking to our kids and keeping an open means of conversation with them. Because kids should tell parents when being bullied, just like we teach our kids to tell if bein touched. I as a parent would go to the end of the earth to stop bullying including confronting the parents of the other kid….just think we need to have more time for our kids and maybe we as parents could stop the violence.

12 hours ago · Like · 1


11 hours ago · Like · 6

Jackie Javier  SAY IT TWICE Dwayne !!

11 hours ago · Like · 2

Dwayne Price Small Society Jackie

11 hours ago · Like · 2

Jackie Javier Too small, their closed minds and ignorance will come back 10 fold!

11 hours ago · Like · 2

Mike Monroe How’s about the kids dad I’d a DEPUTY SHERIFF???? Why again is Charles White not being charged for this?

11 hours ago · Unlike · 3

Jackie Javier Why does the father have anything to do with this??? I don’t care if his dad was Jesus Christ himself, he made the decision on his own and is paying for that choice as we speak, who are we to pass judgement on the parents, again you don’t know the entire story or what this family has had to go throught!

11 hours ago · Like · 2

Jackie Javier Through *^

11 hours ago · Like

Karen Tyus-Youngblood We only know what the paper is reporting but people are looking at thus from a common sense standpoint and that tells us that we Dont get loaded handguns and take them to school! What if he had used it? We’d be reading something different and pointing the finger at his parents. Thus young man should have gone and talked with a counselor if he was having problems with someone…its never justified in doing something like this, bullying or not. I was bullied as a kid but I didn’t run home and go get a gun, Geesh !! That’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it

11 hours ago · Like · 4

Dwayne Price Everyone that has negative energy and nothing positive to say really should take a self inventory of there own life

11 hours ago · Like · 2

Erika Hamner How about business? Once again you don’t know what the hell went on so why are you even commenting as if you do. Maybe you guys should try praying for the family instead of critizing them.

11 hours ago · Like · 2

Jackie Javier What would we all be saying if this child ended his life instead of taking a gun to school, the fact that these people see nothing wrong with a child who was being so tormented that he felt the his only resort was to bring a gun to the school grounds is sad to me, you all have only been forced to hear what the media has played this out to be, what if this was your child?? Your ignorance will get you no where in this lifetime!!!! Good bad right or wrong, he hurt no one but himself and he is paying for that, can you say the same thing about the children that caused him to go to such lengths?? NO

11 hours ago · Like · 2

Kelli Parish Eater And how many of you know if he was truly being bullied? Facts, not opinions.

11 hours ago · Like · 2

Jackie Javier How do you know he didn’t exhaust all his options, how do you know his voice didn’t go unheard, with all do respect this is 2014 ! And bullying today is not WHAT is was 10 years ago.

11 hours ago · Like · 1

Jackie Javier I know for 100% FACT that this child was pushed to the limits!

11 hours ago · Like · 2

Jackie Javier AND I WILL STAND BESIDE THIS FAMILY AND HELP THEM FIGHT THROUGH THIS FOR AS LONG AS IT TAKES! Take a step back and take an open ear to this child, listen to his story before you are so quick to point the finger!

11 hours ago · Like · 2

Phil Sydnor I know the kid who they say was bullying him, his uncle is a retired Deputy, seeing this is a Deputy’s son and there’s much turmoil within the Sheriff’s Dept. wanting to keep things they do hush hush may have more to do with why this young man was scared and needed a gun. The REAL mother is a follower ofhttps://www.facebook.com/groups/MansfieldersPerspective/ where you can find the truth on this! I too hope this young man gets the help he needs, from what I am told the father don’t like the measures the courts are taking to right the ship. Sounds to me the Sheriff has some house keeping to do himself with lots of issues within. You’ll be lucky if the stepmother don’t call your employer if she don’t like what you’re saying, my MP group was her target when calling mine, says a lot about those who work for us while our Elected officials do nothing! It’s high time these people REALIZE they work for us, not the other way around, one who’s sick of this crap!


What they are saying so far in the MP group



Richard D Michem What his name?

16 hrs · Like

Mike Monroe Deputy Charles Whites son

16 hrs · Like

John Benjamin Tatum Another case of a “slap on the wrists”

16 hrs · Like

Mike Monroe 6 years of probation is not a slap on the wrist for a 15 yr old. The problem is , you have a deputy that had an unsecured firearm that got taken from his residence from his son. Where is the justice in that? I am sure the ORC says something about that.

16 hrs · Unlike · 5

Ciara Holmes What’s up with law enforcement throwing their families under the bus?? In this situation, Deputy White let his son take the total blame for this incident,he knows what he did was wrong and he should be charged also,Deputy White should be a shamed of himself,What is he still doing in law enforcement with this kind of mentality?

15 hrs · Unlike · 4

Tyger Parent This kid has been through hell in his home, rumor has it he might have carried the gun for protection against dad..

I’d like to know why dad has not been investigated for not having an secured firearm in the home.

Any other citizen in this county or state would have been arrested, charged and sitting in jail awaiting trial..

But because of his badge, he’s getting an pass on it, the juvenile jail is avoiding that issue, Children Services has been ignoring this issue also, and Lexington PD seems to be ignoring it as well as the sheriffs dept.

Where is the justice in that..

15 hrs · Unlike · 6

Mike Monroe I wanted to look today what the Law says. I didn’t have time. I know that you don’t have to secure your firearms in your home if you don’t want to, however, once it was taken from the home I’m sure there is a liability

13 hrs · Unlike · 2

Phil Sydnor Wow!, Spon should talk to Deputy Zehner – “Never let your own emotions get control of you and drive your decisions. It’s a very bad place to be,” Spon told him.

11 hrs · Like · 1

Pam Sellards My question is “where did he get the gun?” Wasnt even mentioned in the article!!!

11 hrs · Unlike · 1

Mike Monroe Why does the news journal not publish the truth?? Deputy Charles White is not in trouble at all??? What the hell??

11 hrs · Unlike · 2

Phil Sydnor Could it be they are believing dads first report the gun was stolen for why he’s not getting charged, or could he be getting punished in another way? Surely not happy from what I heard about the hearing results.

8 hrs · Like

Mike Monroe Stolen by someone in the house with access? Would that still fall as a liability? Would it really be theft? Its his fathers property he borrowed??!!

8 hrs · Like

Dwayne Price Phil what is so negative about this Deputy that you have first hand Knowledge of ? Without postings from the news or Mansfield Prospective ???

8 hrs · Like

Mike Monroe Dwayne is the fact his son took a gun to school not bad enough? What about his daughter cutting herself a week or so ago? Seems to be an unstable household to say the least.

8 hrs · Like · 2

Tyger Parent There is so much more going on, that when it all comes out.

We all will be saying WTF, and how in thee hell does he still have a job..

8 hrs · Edited · Like · 1

Dwayne Price Mike I’m not sure if you are answering for Phil however it seems to be a lot of turmoil involving innocent children whom had a stable home with someone striving to do right by his obligation of his children. I Think you must get more details from the news officials or whomever is giving you info to publicly should get facts and knowledge and far liability I don’t think people should tare down a man’s character over a matter that was thrown out of complex with news people and I don’t know anything about a Daughter cutting on herself which seems to be changing the issue and bringing into more drama for children that were already traumatized from a sibling from their home temporarily

7 hrs · Like

Dwayne Price Sorry for the spell check on some words

7 hrs · Like

Tyger Parent Hey Dwayne.

Would you being friends with the father have anything to do with your input.

7 hrs · Like

Pamela Kay Maybe him being a friend may benefit the conversation. . I’d like to know facts… you guys spout off BS and person conspiracy opinions….what’s wrong with a person who knows him………

7 hrs · Like

Pamela Kay Personal*

7 hrs · Like

Dwayne Price This is FYI for Tyger Parent I think more concern should be placed on how to provide structure and a support system and not a few individual whom thrive on manipulating the public view to it in a negative aspects and destroy a Young Kids life For what a story that appears to catch people eye that are obviously digging their nose where it doesn’t need to be People I must say it’s imperative to pay attention to your own problems and not a matter that has a lot of negativity drawn to it from people from such a small world of knowledge

7 hrs · Like · 1

Tyger Parent And Pam, we all know who you are.

We have discussed that already.

For your FYI, the child should always come first, a child cuts herself, the dad removes her from the ER before treatment can be finished.

Having another child take a loaded firearm to school should be the main concern here, the weapon could have been dropped and went off, and hurt or killed an innocent child.

Let’s show more concern for the child and less about the parent(s)..

7 hrs · Edited · Like

Pamela Kay Who gave the child up…. this is a juvenile case…u don’t understand… Dwayne. . Any insight?

7 hrs · Like

Pamela Kay Oh Tyger Parent… u were there???… ure the all knowing, right. HOW BOUT SHUT UP! Or give us legit info??? Maybe some facts.. u talk a lot with no facts. Just like the Halloween party with a lot of ppl still in prison including a DJ who wasn’t even apart of it… U have no knowledge of factual events. Keep it FACTUAL!! I know that a hard for u.

7 hrs · Like

Dwayne Price His mother invited the media to exploit her child for her own personal gain. As for the gun yes this situation could’ve drastically been different n thank god it wasn’t. This child is hurting n he felt helpless because of the bullying thats the real issue or maybe some if not all of you have never dealt with racial issues. Ignorant people offer ignorant uneducated points of view. Sad for those of you that are only adding fire to this families crisis.

7 hrs · Like · 1

Dwayne Price And for “Tyger Parent” or whatever your true identity is be very careful for HIPPA has laws but maybe as u communicate with the wrong people for your information be sensitive about the right to privacy

7 hrs · Like · 1

Pamela Kay Gosh I can’t imagine…hope the WHOLE family is praying and getting through this! What a sad situation! Praying for him and your family!

7 hrs · Like

Tyger Parent Ohh, I could mention more, like how the court procedure went down today.

I can go into more detail if you wish ..

7 hrs · Like

Pamela Kay Oh since u were there…u must have 1st hand knowledge…..Please let us know facts of situation. ?? FACTS!!

7 hrs · Like

Dwayne Price Hey Tyger Parent I think it’s imperative to protect the innocent one and that’s the child that’s in a place that’s not for people that really have a criminal record just think

6 hrs · Like

Pamela Kay Tyger Parent is the all knowing.. you didn’t know hahahaha… Dwayne… I’m sorry she doesn’t care about an innocent kid. I would love some facts tho. If u can give some ..

6 hrs · Like

Tyger Parent I agree, the child needed help long time ago, as this didn’t happen over night.

Something had to lead up to where the child is now.
See More

6 hrs · Like

John Benjamin Tatum Why was a loaded firearm taken to school?

3 hrs · Like

Mike Monroe Personal protection John. Back to the point, WHY IS THE CHILD taking the fall ALONE? his father is a deputy and doesn’t have control in his own home of of a firearm? It was missing for a couple days right? Was it reported stolen? If not, why? Why again was the Deputy not charged with negligence??

14 mins · Like · 1

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