Teen gets hard time

Gregory Wright—the 17-year-old Las Plumas High School student who took a gun to school, stumbled into a band room and ended up holding a group of students and one teacher hostage before giving up his weapon—was sentenced to 22 years in prison last week (Jan. 17). He must serve at least 19 of them before being eligible for release.

In trying Wright as an adult, District Attorney Mike Ramsey has argued that it was warranted by Wright’s extensive juvenile criminal record from Oklahoma and the seriousness of the offense. At least two of Wright’s female victims asked the court to show leniency, however, saying they hadn’t felt endangered by Wright and noting that nobody had been hurt. Wright’s mother, Sharlee Morton, said she intended to appeal the plea bargain.

Interestingly, Wright will do more time than Tommy Lee Schmitz, a 37-year-old Live Oak man and three-time prison inmate who got drunk, drove at excessive speeds along the Midway and caused an accident that killed one person and injured four others. On Jan. 11, six days before Wright was sentenced, Schmitz pleaded no contest to charges of gross vehicular manslaughter. He faces a maximum of 17 years in prison.