NOBLESVILLE, Ind. – The Noblesville West Middle School teacher who was shot by his student in May says he’s unhappy with the shooter’s punishment.
In a statement released to the Indy Star on Thursday, Jason Seaman said he’s dissatisfied that current Indiana law legally prevented prosecutors from trying the 13-year-old boy as an adult.
“The teenager in this case attempted to murder two people with a motive that is unknown and he will be able to rejoin society in roughly five years if not sooner,” Seaman wrote. “I cannot speak for others, but in my mind, this is not justice. It is not justice for me and my family nor for the other victim and her family.”
The teen, who shot Seaman and his classmate Ella Whistler last May, was ordered by a judge Wednesday to serve time in a juvenile detention center until he’s 18 years old. That is the most severe punishment he could receive.
If the teen had been charged as an adult, he would have faced 11 counts, including attempted murder and aggravated battery.
Hamilton Circuit Judge Paul A. Felix said he made the decision based on the shooter’s apparent lack of remorse and continued danger to those around him. The judge also pointed out that the shooter comes from a stable, caring, and supportive family and community.
“You took this community’s sense of safety,” Felix added. “You took the girl’s ability to play sports and dress herself.”
Court testimony revealed the teen recorded a video in his basement, hours before the shooting, warning of his plans to “take lives,” including his own. In the video, he was flashing several handguns. Luckily, Seaman and Whistler survived.
After the teen turns 18, he can be placed on probation until the age of 22, with the state maintaining jurisdiction. The Department of Corrections will determine what he needs at that point. It is possible that the DOC may release him before he turns 18, but that is a DOC decision.
Read Seaman’s full statement below:
“First I must thank Mr. Buckingham and his team at the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office. They left no stone unturned throughout the duration of the case. I hope that the decision made this morning will allow some members of the Noblesville community and others impacted by the shooting some closure and further healing.
Ultimately, I believe the Indiana Department of Corrections is where the perpetrator belongs given the two options but I am dissatisfied with the fact that current Indiana law legally prevented prosecutors from trying the perpetrator as an adult. The teenager in this case attempted to murder two people with a motive that is unknown and he will be able to rejoin society in roughly five years if not sooner. I cannot speak for others, but in my mind, this is not justice. It is not justice for me and my family nor for the other victim and her family.”