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Wyoming teen pleads guilty to bringing guns to school

January 24, 2020 GMT

GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) — A Wyoming teenager told a judge his biological father had died just days before he brought two guns to his eighth-grade English class with what he said was an “intent to threaten others.”

Dale Warner, now 15, pleaded guilty Friday to two counts of possession of a deadly weapon and entered a no-contest plea to aggravated assault, the Casper Star-Tribune reported. Warner was charged as an adult.

Warner brought guns and ammunition to Sage Valley Junior High in Gillette in November 2018, when he was 14.

“I was suffering a lot of pain from my biological father’s death,” Warner told the judge. “I didn’t know how to handle it, so I just took the guns and tried to get myself into jail.”

He was disarmed after a classmate told the principal about the weapons.

Scott Warner, Dale’s adopted father, said his son had intended to kill himself at school.

“He made a bad decision,” Scott Warner said, adding that “God intervened and saved that kid.”

Dale Warner was initially charged with nine counts of attempted first-degree murder but reached a plea agreement on the lesser charges. He has been jailed with his bail set at $275,000 since his arrest.

Warner faces up to five years on each of the gun possession charges and three to 10 years on the assault conviction.

His defense attorney said Warner will spend the first part of his prison time in a juvenile detention center in Nebraska. After he turns 18 in August 2022, he’ll be returned to Wyoming to serve the remainder of his sentence.