Live updates from the second day of testimony in the Luke Andrews trial.
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EARLIER UPDATE: The opening statements in the trial of 13-year-old Luke Andrews began Thursday.
Andrews is facing three charges for an incident at North Scott Junior High last year: assault while displaying a dangerous weapon, carrying a weapon on school grounds and attempted murder.
The prosecutor told the jury what she said happened when Andrews came to class at North Scott Junior High School last August.
Assistant Scott County Attorney Julie Walton said, “Luke Andrews walks in late, drops a stack of stuff.”
Prosecuting Attorney Julie Walton told the jury that when he pulled out a gun.
Walton said, “Luke waves the gun at the class. Tells the quietly to get down.”
She said Andrews next went up to teacher Dawn Spring.
Walton said, “Luke points the gun at her, and he pulls the trigger.”
The state said the safety was on and the gun didn’t fire and the teacher quickly pushed it way.
Walton said, “She says to him ‘Wow it looks like you’re having a bad day, let’s go talk about it in the hallway.’”
Walton said after leaving the class, staff got the gun away from Andrews and stored it in a freezer until police arrived.
When the defense attorney delivered their opening statement, Meenakshi Brandt said those actions don’t amount to the most serious charge.
Brandt said, “A bad decision. He brought a gun inside a school, into a classroom but that doesn’t mean he attempted to murder.”
The defense is asking the jury to pay attention to what Andrews knew about gun safety and his behavior in the days leading up.
Brandt said, “What Luke did was attention seeking behavior.”
The jury then began to hear from state witnesses.
Two Eldgridge Police Officers including one who works as a school resource officer, followed by an investigator with the state crime lab.
They talked about retrieving the gun from the freezer in a storage area, where the firearm was placed after it was freed from Andrews.
A total of 12 rounds were in the gun, one in the barrel and eleven more in the magazine.
After lunch, the jury started to hear from students and staff at North Scott Junior High School.
One student who said she has known Andrews for years told the jury the day before the incident, Andrews asked her questions about if he brought a gun to school.
Some of the most revealing testimony came from Holly Leinhauser, a counselor at North Scott Jr. High.
The prosecution said after the teacher got Andrews out of the classroom, she took the teen to Leinhauser’s office where she went for help.
“I kind of went in to help take the gun and was not successful,” said the counselor while on the stand. “I think it was my third attempt, so thinking about it, I kind of put my shoulder and my hand into him, using my knee to kind of hold his legs. She [Spring] was struggling with him from the side. He had the gun really close to himself.”
She continued, “The gun came toward me. I think it was just a reflex. I can remember looking down at it and pulling and trying to take his fingers off of it and it was a struggle. I mean it was an intense struggle. He was pulling it and moving it at the same time.
“I got his fingers off of it and pulled it out and stood up because I just leaned into him, so stood up and pulled up into the air, and that’s the first time I recall Luke speaking. He screamed ‘don’t hold it like that, you’re going to make it go off,'” said Leinhauser.
She said after getting the gun away from Andrews, she started to talk with the teen.
“I asked Luke what his intent was and his comment was to end it and everything. Anything that got in his way. It was just very adamant about what he was saying,” Leinhauser said.
They then worked to move Andrews into the office.
She said when this happened, the school was only into its fifth day of the year and before this Leinhauser said she had not met Andrews before.
Eventually, a police officer joined Leinhauser as they continued to talk.
At one point, Leinhauser said Andrews responded to a question by saying there were 12 bullets in the gun.
The more time they spent together, she said she tried to understand more about why this was happening.
When asked if it was something related to school, Leinhauser said Andrews answer was no.
“He paused and he said that not everybody has parents like I had, and I thought that was really unusual that he said the word ‘had.’ It’s just something that stuck with me,” said the counselor.
Leinhauser said Andrews went on to tell he got in trouble the night before at home and was not happy with his punishment.
Andrews also said he had a brother a year old than him and a younger sister.
“I asked if his brother knew that he had brought the gun and he said ‘no, he would snitch on me,'” said Leinhauser.
She went on to tell the jury Andrews revealed that his father lost a job and there was tenseness at home.
“‘I’m going to explain what I think I know,'” Leinhauser recounted for the court. “‘So you got in trouble at home and you brought a gun to school.’ And he turned his body completely away from me and looked at the side wall and in an elevated voice ‘Well now that you’ve said it out loud it doesn’t make sense. I should have just did it at home.'”
She said after that it was hard for her to get Andrews to answer questions.
Additional witnesses were called before breaking for the day.
The trial will resume Friday.