Lowcountry student pleads guilty to bringing gun to school - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Student pleads guilty to bringing gun to school

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Austen Almeida Austen Almeida
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BEAUFORT CO., SC (WTOC) -

A high school student who was charged with bringing a loaded handgun and knives to Bluffton High School in May 2013 entered a guilty plea on Wednesday to all the charges.

Bluffton police said Austen Almeida took a loaded Glock handgun, knives, gasoline, lighter fluid and a lighter to school. He was denied bond after a hearing the day after he was arrested. 

Almeida pled guilty to carrying a weapon on school property, unlawful possession of a pistol, possession of explosive and destructive devices and disturbing school for carrying a weapon at school.

"This is a non-negotiated plea, which means he's pleading guilty to the charges as they are charged," said 14th Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone.

He faces five years for carrying a weapon on school property. He faces one year in prison for unlawful possession of a pistol. He faces two to 15 years in prison for possession of explosive and destructive devices and faces up to 90 days in prison for disturbing school.

Almeida, who is 18 now but 17 at the time of his arrest, has been charged as an adult and could receive the maximum sentence.

"All of that will be left strictly up to Judge Cooper," said Stone, "So how he weighs things, any information that he thinks is important is going to be his decision."

Almeida is due back in court the week of April 21, but no date has been set yet.  

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