Home > It's A Legal Matter > School prank to prison

School prank to prison

By Jeff Terrill

Fort Wayne Reader

2014-03-06


Bill had a master plan. It was the kind of senior prank that his fellow students would remember.

Bill turned eighteen just a few weeks ago. He was a good student and a member of the football team all four years. He’s not a real person.

Bill talked two of his classmates into helping him. Bill drove with his friends to their school just after midnight on Monday. Bill pulled around the back near a dumpster. He remembered hearing his coach once say that the coach could get in through a maintenance door in back when he forgot his keys.

Bill and his buddies got out the car. Bill pulled on the door. He tried pushing it. Nothing. Bill wiggled the handle a bit and the door opened.

Once inside, the boys went to work on the plan. They went to Ms. Smith’s science classroom and rearranged the entire layout of the room. The back of the room was now the front. Ms. Smith’s desk was moved to the opposite side and all of the student chairs were reversed as well. The boys slid the bookshelves from one side to the other. They even moved all of the posters and art to the opposite walls.

Bill grabbed Ms. Smith’s non-venomous snake, Scooter, and put him in a box he found in the hallway. Bill planned to release Scooter at the pep rally the next night. One of the other boys grabbed a flashlight and a mug that said “Science Rules” off of Mrs. Smith’s desk. They left the school the same way they entered.

Under Indiana law, a person who “breaks and enters” a building of another with the intention of committing a felony (such as theft) once inside commits the offense of burglary, a Class C felony. The crime is a Class B felony or higher when it involves someone’s home.

The boys jumped into Bill’s car just as bright lights lit up the area. Bill turned around and noticed a car’s headlights shining at him. Then he noticed a police officer standing in front of his car. The officer ordered the boys out of the car and told them to put their hands in the air. The boys complied.

The officer asked the boys what they were doing. Bill said they were just hanging out. Another officer showed up and the boys were separated. The officer asked Bill what was in the box in his backseat. Bill told him his pet snake lived inside the box. Bill gave the officer permission to search his vehicle.

After a few minutes, the boys admitted to entering the school and taking the snake—and the flashlight—and the coffee mug. They said they meant no harm. They were seniors and this was just a senior prank.

The officers arrested Bill and his two friends for burglarizing the school. The school expelled Bill and his friends.

Instead of preparing for college, Bill now spends his time worrying about serving time in prison.

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Jeff Terrill is a partner/shareholder with the law firm of Arnold Terrill Anzini, P.C. Mr. Terrill represents clients accused of crimes throughout northeast Indiana. You can contact Mr. Terrill with any questions or comments at his office at 260.420.7777 or via email at jterrill@fortwaynedefense.com. Learn more about his firm at www.fortwaynedefense.com. This article expressed opinions and observations of the author, is not intended as legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship between the author and the reader. Please consult a qualified attorney with any legal questions or issues you might have. Thank you.

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