The suspect accused of bringing a gun into John Marshall High School in February will serve jail time. Wednesday, lawyers announced a deal, which will have 18-year-old Danzall Seward behind bars for at least 16 months.
After some security changes things have been quiet at the school, but for the suspect, the consequences of that February day continue. After Wednesday's court hearing, they will for quite some time.
Danzall Seward appeared relieved as he walked out of the Manchester Courthouse. He has about two months of freedom before his formal sentencing, when a judge will order him to serve 16 months behind bars for misdemeanor disorderly conduct and concealing a weapon.
For the first time, we're hearing Seward's version of events through his father, Danzall Hicks.
"He just told me he got into an altercation," Hicks said. "He never said that the weapon that they are accusing him of is his. I believe my son. It could have fell off anybody."
Police say there was a fight inside the school and the person with a handgun fled. Seward was arrested three blocks away and the gun was found in a nearby dumpster.
"I bet you it wasn't worth it," Hicks added.
Prosecutor Kirk Conway said the chief of school security is satisfied with the agreement. There is one thing the school system wanted to make sure of: Seward is barred from all Richmond Public Schools property except for anything required to graduate.
The felony charge of having a gun on those school grounds will now go to circuit court, where more jail time is expected. Holding back tears, Hicks hopes something good comes of the ordeal.
"You see a child go through something, it hurts," he explained. "I hope he learns that he never has to go through this again. He got choices. You don't have to do this."
For now, Seward is on home electronic monitoring and a curfew.
The judge delayed his formal sentencing until June 7, after the 18-year-old finishes his home schooling graduation requirements.
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