Student who allegedly waved gun at school not indicted

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 14, 2000

A Natchez High student charged this fall with having a gun at school was not indicted by the Adams County grand jury. The grand jury returned a &uot;no bill&uot; for Jerrid Norman, No. 2 Elbow Lane, last month, so he no longer faces criminal repercussions for the charge,&160;said District Attorney Ronnie Harper.

Without new evidence, Norman’s case will not be presented to the grand jury again, Harper said.

Norman was arrested in August along with another student Carlos Ward, 18, 166 Morgantown Road, for allegedly having an unloaded handgun at Natchez High School.

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Police believe Ward brought the gun to school while Norman only held it in his hands for a few moments. According to students who later reported the incident, Norman waved the gun in front of other students.

Harper said he could only speculate on the grand jury’s reasoning but Norman’s alleged participation in the crime was clearly different from Ward’s alleged participation.

&uot;On a criminal charge intent is something you have to look at,&uot; Harper said.

The two high school juniors were bound over to the grand jury together in September but Ward was indicted alone for possession of a firearm on educational property. He will eventually face court proceedings in Adams County Circuit Court.

After the incident, both students were expelled from the Natchez-Adams School District for one calendar year without alternative education.

After Norman appealed the ruling, the Natchez-Adams School Board reduced his penalty to allow him to attend summer school next year and to begin the 2001-02 school year at the same time as other students.

Natchez-Adams Superintendent Dr. Carl Davis said the grand jury’s decision does not have an impact on Norman’s status with the school district.

&uot;I think the (grand jury) did their job, but we look at things in the school setting a little different,&uot; Davis said. State laws about possession of weapons on campus &uot;are very clear, and we’re going to follow those.&uot;