RICHMOND, Ind. — A woman whose 14-year-old son shot his way into his former middle school before taking his own life in a shootout with police has pleaded guilty to charges connected with the incident.
Mary York pleaded guilty on October 8 to four counts of neglect of a dependent, all felony charges.
York was once hailed as a hero for calling 911, warning police that her son was armed and going to shoot up Dennis Middle School. Because of her call, the school was put on lockdown and police met her son, Brandon Clegg, cornering him in a stairwell where he took his own life.
While York told CBS4 that she didn’t see any warning signs and tried to do everything she could to stop him, prosecutors argued that York had warning signs that she ignored.
Court documents show the shooter had been dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts. He had been checked into a program for 10 days, but York took him out because her insurance wouldn’t cover the cost and she said she couldn’t afford it. She did not make him take his prescribed medication, which he complained made him feel “weird.”
Health records outlined in the probable cause show the teen heard voices, saw things that were not there and expressed homicidal intentions against those who bullied him.
During a police interview in February of 2018, York told police she wasn’t aware of her son’s mental health diagnosis or what was said during his treatment. Investigators later found staff at the facility spoke to her about her son’s statements and that York would have been present when the teen made statements about harming himself and killing kids at school.
“Investigators were not able to find any documentation of actions that York took to address any bullying prior to December 13, 2018,” the document says. It also shows that the teen was sometimes left home alone.
York was sentenced to almost 2 and a half years of probation. In the event that York successfully completes all the conditions of probation, her convictions will be entered as alternative class A misdemeanors.