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Gun case at high school settled

Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2018 at 12:35 pm

DaVell Smith

The charge of gun possession on school property against DaVell Smith, the Louisa County High School teacher and coach, was reduced today to disorderly conduct.

Smith pleaded not guilty in Louisa General District Court, but stipulated that there was sufficient evidence to convict him.

Smith was arrested on Jan. 12 after automotive class students found a loaded pistol in his car trunk while they were working on the vehicle. State law allows people to have a concealed weapon in their car on school grounds if they stay in the vehicle in the parking lot.

Maj. Donald Lowe of the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office emphasized that Smith had no criminal intent when he left the gun in his car.

District Court Judge Claiborne Stokes sentenced Smith to six months in jail, all suspended, and ordered that he stay on good behavior for two years. He must complete 50 hours of community service and a gun safety course.

Smith has been on paid administrative leave from his job as an earth science and special education teacher since the incident. The reduced charge is a misdemeanor, which does not bar Smith from school employment.

“Since the onset of this investigation, the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office and LCPS administration felt there was no ill intent in this incident. The outcome of this case confirms that,” Andrew Woolfolk, LCPS public information officer, said in a statement. “Regardless, we do know school policy was violated and it will be handled as a personnel matter with the employee involved.”

The schools’ code of conduct states that any student who possesses a firearm on school property may be expelled, depending on the circumstances. It does not address how a similar offense should be addressed when committed by a staff member.