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Student charged as adult in slashing

By Staff
INCIDENT  Meridian Public Schools Director of Security Dr. Sam Thompson, left, Assistant Superintendent Sylvia Autry and Kate Griffin Junior High Principal Phillip Daniels discuss an incident in which a student allegedly cut the throat of another student Tuesday morning during a change of classes. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star.
By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
Feb. 14, 2001
A 16-year-old Meridian youth will face charges as an adult after he allegedly slashed another boy's throat at school on Tuesday morning using a straight-edged razor.
Justin W. Thomas of 3803 Fifth St. was charged by police with aggravated assault about 6 p.m. Tuesday, said Police Chief Gregg Lewis. The youth is being held in the Lauderdale County Detention Facility on $20,000 bond.
School officials called a press conference immediately following the incident, which took place at Kate Griffin Junior High School during class changes at 10:20 a.m.
Meridian Public Schools Director of Security Dr. Sam Thompson said the boy who was injured sustained a 3-inch cut to the neck and was transported to Rush Foundation Hospital by Metro Ambulance after a teacher reported the attack.
The boy received eight stitches and was released later in the day to his parents, said Principal Phillip Daniels.
Investigators began piecing together evidence in the alleged assault after Thomas ran to the police station from the school, claiming someone had tried to assault him with a sharp object, Lewis said.
Investigators had not located the weapon by the time of the press conference but later discovered a straight edged razor they believe was used in the attack.
Thompson said school officials were not sure what sparked the attack or if the boys had problems in the past.
According to the district's handbook rules, such behavior is punishable by permanent expulsion.
Thomas will attend his preliminary hearing sometime in the next few days.
If convicted, Thomas could face a maximum sentence of a 20 year prison term.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at mtodd@themeridianstar.com.

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