Ruling on Perry Hall High suspect to come next week

Baltimore County Circuit Judge Robert E. Cahill Jr. said Thursday that he will rule next week on whether Robert W. Gladden Jr., the teenager accused in the Perry Hall High School shooting, will be tried as an adult or a juvenile.

In a separate court proceeding Thursday, Gladden's mother's live-in boyfriend, Andrew Piper, pleaded guilty to one count of illegal possession of a regulated firearm.

After the shooting at the school, county police and officials with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives searched Gladden's mother's home, where they found several rifles and a handgun belonging to Piper. None of the weapons were used by Gladden in the school shooting. Piper is not allowed to own guns because of a prior conviction.

The judge granted Piper probation before judgment. The count carries a maximum penalty of five years, but the state had recommended a suspended sentence.

Gladden has been charged as an adult with attempted first-degree murder and additional charges, after police said he brought his father's disassembled shotgun into the school's cafeteria on the first day of school. He is accused of opening fire, injuring Daniel Borowy, a fellow student, before several adults intervened.

The two-day hearing for Gladden included jail recordings of him and his family, his interview with detectives, and testimony from mental health professionals who evaluated him. Cahill said he will review additional videos and recordings, at the request of Gladden's attorney, George Psoras Jr.

During the hearing, assistant state's attorney John Cox played a portion of his initial interview with detectives, who asked if he were remorseful. Gladden responded, "Not really."

Gladden also told the detectives he planned the shooting "to make a point the world is a [expletive] place."

Prosecutors played portions of recorded visits of Gladden, who is 15, with his family, in which he said he was not bullied.

"I picked on more kids than picked on me," he said in one clip.

He also said he did not mind jail and that he preferred being with adult offenders to juveniles.

"Honestly, I kinda like it. My cell buddy is real cool," he said and mentions spending time watching football or reading.

Psoras argued that playing only portions of the conversations was misleading and the comments were taken out of context. Cahill said he did not want to take the time to play all of the tapes but would review them before rendering his decision next week.

If Gladden's case is moved to juvenile court, he would be held until he turns 21 at the latest.

  • Text NEWS to 70701 to get Baltimore Sun local news text alerts
  • Copyright © 2021, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad