BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Maryland teenager who repeatedly brought a loaded gun to school will get jail time, but not for long.
A Montgomery County judge sentenced 18-year-old Alwin Chen to three years, with all but four months suspended.
“What I did was stupid. I didn’t mean to hurt anyone,” Chen told the judge.
The 18-year-old honor student brought the gun to Clarksburg High School on February 15 — one day after the Parkland, Florida shooting.
He told police he wanted to protect himself and others against a mass shooter.
But after investigators seized a cache of weapons from his home — including rifles, ammunition and a ballistic vest — the judge expressed concern with Chen’s “fascination of weapons.”
The judge grappled with an appropriate punishment for the student who repeatedly brought a gun to school.
”Your life is not going to be ruined from this,” the judge told Chen.
Chen’s father cried and thanked the person who reported his son.
After more than an hour, the judged sentenced Chen, who will only serve four months and five years probation.
The Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office did not object to the sentencing. They said this could be a good oppotunity for Chen, his family and the community.
“Obviously, this was a young man that made a very poor decision that broke the law and deserves to be punished, but there is also an opportunity for healing in the community and moving forward in a very positive way,” said Ramon Korionoff with Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Chen’s attorneys said he was accepted to five colleges and plans to enroll.
“He definitely has a bright future. He did as teenagers do — bad mistake, good kid,” Chen’s attorney Jill Michaels said.
Chen has already served more than two months behind bars, which means he will get credit for time served. The judge also told Chen to focus on being a good student when he goes to college and the judge may expunge his record a few years down the road.
Chen will also have to undergo therapy, submit random urine tests and conduct 300 hours of community service. The judge also told his parents to get rid of all weapons in the home.