Man denied bond after bringing loaded gun into elementary school


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vagunmonkey
February 12, 2013, 04:58 AM
Ignorance is certainly not justifiable, but I have really mixed feeling over this.:scrutiny: No bail and it took 24 hours!?. :confused:

What are your thoughts?

http://www.nbc12.com/story/21130286/man-denied-bond-for-bringing-loaded-gun-into-elementary-school

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) -
33-year-old Michael O'Berry faces up to five years in jail after Chesterfield police charged him for openly carrying a gun into A.M. Davis Elementary School.

According to Chesterfield investigators, the 9mm handgun O'Berry had in a holster on his side was loaded.

Police also say, O'Berry had gone to Davis Elementary Thursday afternoon to pick up his sick daughter. When investigators questioned O'Berry the next day, he told officers he didn't know having a gun on school property was illegal.

Chesterfield police charged O'Berry on Friday with possession of a firearm on school property.

At a court hearing Monday morning, a Chesterfield judge denied O'Berry bond, which means he will remain in jail until next month.

NBC12 spoke with O'Berry's family who said keeping O'Berry in jail without bond is too stiff of a penalty.

NBC12's legal analyst Steve Benjamin points to Virginia code, which states one can't have a gun on school property, in court or an airport.

Benjamin says, while the judge wasn't obligated to keep O'Berry in jail, he did have the right to.

"I can't imagine any parent of any child would want anything but very strict enforcement of the gun laws," Benjamin said.

O'Berry will be back in court March 12.

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JVaughn
February 12, 2013, 05:59 AM
So, he possessed a gun while on school property. A gun which from what I gather never left his holster. The next day, he was questioned about it and was arrested.

Basically, a regular guy (probably a good guy) is having is freedom taken from him by the enforcers of a bad law, which by its very definition, is unconstitutional. Sounds like a true miscarriage of justice.

Let's theorize on what may have occured if mere moments after he arrived at the school, a shooter arrived and began executing students. Do you think O'Berry would have shot him? If he didn't kill him, would they be facing the same charges?

Gun free zones serve only to diminish the security of the zones by informing the armed bad guys they will encounter little to no resistance there.

radiotom
February 12, 2013, 06:52 AM
"...it is their right and duty to be at all times armed" Thomas Jefferson, 1824

RetiredUSNChief
February 12, 2013, 06:56 AM
I liked the fact that you pointed out ignorance is no excuse right up front.

Assuming he had a Concealed Carry permit, then he should have been aware of the laws via the process of obtaining the permit. Thus there is no room for a claim of "ignorance".

Virginia is an open carry state. No permit is required for that. However, as a responsible firearms owner, there is also no room for a claim of "ignorance" here because a responsible firearms owner will have reasearched when and where he may carry his weapon. If he did not, then he's not a responsible firearms owner.

Michael O'Berry is what I like to call a "moron". And he's paying the price for his stupidity, however much we may think that this price may be excessive. More so than ever, the public at large has no tolerance for firearms violations on school grounds, regardless of what we may think and believe on the effectiveness and logic of "gun free zones". This is a fact of life and we have to live with that unless, and until, it changes.

Does he have any circumstances which may work in his favor?

Certainly. Since he wasn't questioned about it until the next day, it was quite obvious that he didn't enter the school with any intent to harm.

However, the demonstrated lack of intent to harm doesn't mean he can't be charged with, and convicted of, a violation of the gun free zone at the school. It simply means he can't be charged with assault, or intent to assault, with a deadly weapon.

Theorizing about what MAY have happened if an actual gunman had opened up at the school and he successfully defended people is a moot point. It didn't happen. And, quite frankly, if it DID happen he likely would have still been charged with illegally bringing a firearm into the school. (Though public sentiment would quite likely have been very much on his side for the heroics involved.)

We'll have to see how this turns out in the courts. I hope, for his sake, that there is a large turnout of community support for this guy based on his obvious lack of violent criminal intent.

Double Naught Spy
February 12, 2013, 08:01 AM
However, as a responsible firearms owner, there is also no room for a claim of "ignorance" here because a responsible firearms owner will have reasearched when and where he may carry his weapon. If he did not, then he's not a responsible firearms owner.

+1

No bail seems a bit extreme, but taking 24 hours isn't an issue. If he broke the law and was within the statute of limitations (and he was) then the 24 hours thing isn't an issue.

akv3g4n
February 12, 2013, 08:01 AM
I agree with all of the above. Ignorance is no excuse and if you are a responsible firearms owner, you need to be fully aware of the laws of you state and city.

That being said, there is no reason for the judge to deny bail and keep this guy in jail just to make an example out of him. He did not have any intent to harm and was obviously just ignorant of the law when questioned. He should be punished, yes, but treating him like he is an imminent threat to the community seems a bit much.

mcdonl
February 12, 2013, 08:09 AM
Michael O'Berry is what I like to call a "moron". And he's paying the price for his stupidity, however much we may think that this price may be excessive.

Agree, and sadly may others may pay the price for his stupidity.

Life is a series of decisions and consequences and sometimes others suffer the consequences.

Sav .250
February 12, 2013, 08:13 AM
Has this guy been living under a rock ? That is a no...no. Period! May be harsh but how else do you get the attention of this kind of dope?

BSA1
February 12, 2013, 08:55 AM
Ah…the lynch mob is yelling “hang him” base solely on one print media report and before having all the facts.

First of there is the provision of the 8th Amendment which states:

“Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

Are all persons accused of a firearm violation to be held without bail?

And then I wonder how many folks know all of the provisions of Virginia law to convict him without the protection of the 6th Amendment clause that

“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.”

Since some forum members have held him guilty in the Court of Public Opinion why waste tax payers dollars with a show trial?

Roadking Rider
February 12, 2013, 09:03 AM
Agree with the previous reply's. The guy is a dope.
I pick my Grandduaghter up from school and do not like leaving my gun at home when I pick her up but I'm not stupid either. I know what the law states in my area when it comes to schools and guns. If I choose to play stupid games concerning these laws, then I also must except the stupid prizes that come along with these games I choose to play.

Life is hard it's even harder if your stupid.

Robert
February 12, 2013, 09:09 AM
He really should have known better. The timing of his arrest and the bail, while suspect, are off topic for THR.

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