TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — It’s the end to a long and painful case. The teen charged with attempted murder after taking a gun to Perry Hall High School and firing into the cafeteria has entered a guilty plea.
Rochelle Ritchie has more on the case.
Gladden could now be facing 40 years in prison after entering a plea of guilty to attempted first-degree murder.
Robert Gladden Jr. is just 15 and could be in prison until he is nearly 60 years old.
“I hope it’s brought a little bit of closure to what’s happened,” said prosecutor John Cox.
Gladden is responsible for the shooting at Perry Hall High School that severely injured 17-year-old Daniel Borowy.
“The road is definitely not done. He has a ways to go,” said Milton Borowy, Daniel’s father.
Gladden’s trial was set to begin Tuesday in Baltimore County. Instead, with emotional family members in the courtroom, he pleaded guilty to the adult charge of first-degree attempted murder.
“I think it was clear–the strength of the evidence, there could not have been a stronger case than what we have here,” said Cox.
Investigators say Gladden took one of his father’s shotguns to school on Aug. 27, armed to kill. Police say as they hauled Gladden off to jail, he said, “Can I get the death penalty? I wanted to kill him. I wanted to commit suicide.”
He also listed Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold as inspirations on his Facebook page. They’re the killers responsible for the Columbine shooting.
It’s no surprise students at Perry Hall High are in support of a guilty plea.
“That’s what he gets. You don’t do things like that,” said Ricky Graves.
“He brought a gun to school. He shot a kid and made everybody terrified to come back the next day,” said a student.
The prosecution was hoping for a life sentence. The judge decided on a maximum of 40 years.
“I honestly think he deserves it,” said a student.
Students say while the case is closed, the wounds left behind on that day are still open and healing.
“He harmed a lot of people, not only physically, but emotionally. A lot of people are still afraid to be around here. At least, I am sometimes,” said Megan Wilson.
Gladden was originally charged with nine counts of attempted murder. As part of the plea deal, eight of those were dropped.