Teen Accused In Ky. School Shooting Appears In Court

Judge To Rule If Case Goes Back To Juvenile Court

BENTON, Ky. - It will be a few more weeks before a judge decides if the case against Gabriel Parker, the teenager accused of killing two students at a Kentucky high school, is heading back to juvenile court.

Parker appeared in Judge James Jameson’s court on Monday after he was arraigned and indicted back in February.

Parker, now age 16, has been accused killing 15-year-olds Bailey Holt and Preston Cope at Marshall County High School back in January. 

Public defender Tom Griffiths filed a motion last week to move the case back to juvenile court, arguing the proceedings had been rushed during the previous 25-minute hearing.

“This is the most serious crime in the Commonwealth of Kentucky right now and to have it rushed the way it did I think is irresponsible, frankly," Griffiths said. 

Griffiths added that his client is in a "state of shock." 

However, the commonwealth attorney said the defendant had ample notice. 

Under Kentucky state law, Parker won’t face capital punishment nor life in prison. He could serve life with parole after 25 years for the 14 counts of aggravated assault.  

The judge agreed to give the attorney general's office three weeks to respond to the motion to move the case. The defense will have time to respond. A decision could be made more than three weeks from now, meaning Parker will stay in adult court.

The parents of Bailey Holt and Preston Cope were in the courtroom, as well as Parker’s mother, who was seated behind him.

Parker was described as being emotionless and calm during the hearing.

Tracy Tubbs, Holt’s aunt, was also in court spoke with NewsChannel after the hearing. 

“I don’t mean this to be cruel but it’s hard to breathe the same air as him," she said. “Today is just prolonging what we really want to confirm. We believe he should be tried as an adult.” 

His next court date was set for August 3 at 1 p.m. 

According to officials, the teen first went into the band room to make sure his friends were there before walking into the school's common area and opening fire.

The 16-year-old also allegedly told detectives he wasn't bullied and that no event led up to the shooting, saying he just wanted to see how people would react.  

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