September 26, 2006
A Nashville mother whose 6-year-old child brought marijuana and a loaded stolen handgun to her kindergarten class agreed on Monday to have her criminal charges handed over to a grand jury.
Tonya Logan, 25, was charged with reckless endangerment, possession of marijuana, theft of a weapon and contributing to the delinquency of a minor after her then-5-year-old daughter was found in school with marijuana and a loaded weapon in her backpack.
Logan has not entered a formal plea to the charges, although she formally agreed there was enough evidence for her case to go forward. She must now wait for a grand jury to indict her or dismiss the charges.
On May 11, a May Werthan Shayne Elementary School classmate of Logan’s daughter noticed the gun inside the child’s backpack and notified a teacher, according to police records.
However, that was not the first time – even that day – that Logan’s daughter had been in trouble for contraband in her bag, according to authorities familiar with the case.
Hours before the handgun was found, the child was found with the marijuana. School officials notified police, who served Logan with a citation.
It was only later in the school day that the gun – which police later confirmed was stolen – was found. Police were again dispatched to Logan’s residence and she was placed under arrest.
“According to the child, she got it from the house,” Assistant District Attorney Matt Stephens said Monday. The Metro Police report noted that Logan lives alone with three “small children.”
During the last school year, Metro Youth Services officers had to contend with similar incidents.
Only a day before Logan’s daughter was found with drugs and a firearm in school, Hermitage precinct officers arrested an 11-year-old fifth grader at Mt. View Elementary School for bringing his mother’s .380 semi-automatic pistol onto campus.
And on May 17, Metro Schools resource officers arrested a 17-year-old Cohn Adult Learning Center student after a .32 caliber revolver loaded with two rounds was discovered in the trunk of his car, which was on Hillwood High School property.
In Logan’s case, however, police arrested her, rather than her daughter.
“Yes, more and more we’re seeing those charges being levied on parents, whether or not the parents were aware of what was occurring or not,” George Thompson, who is Logan’s attorney, said after her court appearance.
Thompson would not say, though, whether Logan was aware that her daughter was in possession of the handgun.
While Stephens said he has seen other cases involving guns brought into schools, the age of the child involved in this case was particularly unusual.
“This is the first case I’ve ever seen with a kindergartener having a gun in school,” Stephens said.
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