CHESTER TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WJW) — The 18-year-old accused of taking a gun to West Geauga High School pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity on Monday.
Brandon Morrissette of Lyndhurst was indicted on several charges including attempted aggravated murder, illegal possession of a deadly weapon in a school safety zone and inducing panic. He’s currently being held in the Geauga County Jail without bond.
Police said Morrissette stated he was going to shoot several students in the school library. The teen was arrested at the school.
He appeared Monday via video arraignment before Geauga County Common Pleas Court Judge Carolyn Paschke, to whom his case was ultimately assigned.
Following Morrissette’s insanity plea, Judge Paschke ordered a psychological evaluation.
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Morrissette’s aggravated murder charge, a first-degree felony, carries a maximum possible prison term of 16 1/2 years, not including specifications for committing the crime in a school safety zone and possessing a firearm which, combined, could tack on an additional three years.
The Smith & Wesson Model 910 handgun he allegedly brought to school is also subject to forfeiture.
He faces a maximum sentence of one year on each of his other two charges, both of which are fifth-degree felonies.
Officials commended a student who found a 9-millimeter bullet in a restroom and alerted the school’s resource officer.
Shortly after Morrissette’s arrest, students at the high school were dismissed for the rest of the day and police kept an elevated presence at all West Geauga Local Schools. All schools in the West Geauga Local School District were closed the following day out of an “abundance of caution.”