TV6 Investigates: New details in case of North Scott student who brought gun to school

(MGN)
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ELDRIDGE, Iowa (KWQC) -- In July a Scott County jury convicted 13-year-old Luke Andrews on a number of charges including assault while using or displaying a dangerous weapon, carrying weapons on school grounds, and assault with intent to commit serious injury, a lesser offense than the attempted murder charge he was initially facing.

Andrews brought a loaded gun on school grounds at North Scott Junior High and pointed it at his teacher in August 2018. "It is believed that he pulled the trigger and the gun misfired," according to court documents.

Andrews was tried as a youthful offender in adult court and after the verdict was reached, the case was transferred back to juvenile court. At a detention hearing in July, Judge Mark Fowler approved a motion filed by Andrews’ attorney, which requested the media and public be excluded from all future hearings and proceedings on the case.

The motion granted by Judge Fowler would make any information on the case confidential and meant the public likely would never find out what the court system decided was in the best interest of Andrews.

While searching through court cases in Iowa Courts Online, the state’s public court records filing system, TV6 uncovered recent documents in the juvenile record of Luke Andrews that were made public.

According to a disposition order filed on August 7 in Scott County, the court said Andrews should “be placed in custody of the Department of Human Services for placement in a structured treatment facility.”

In the filing, documents said “This child does not meet the statutory requirements for placement” at State Training School for Boys in Eldora, Iowa.

This facility is the most restrictive placement for a juvenile delinquent male in the state.

According to documents, Andrews was placed at a residential treatment center in Mount Pleasant.

The court filing says Andrews was placed here due to the “extremely dangerous actions” that led to the crimes, and said it was necessary to the protection of the public.

Andrews will have a hearing ahead of his 18th birthday to determine whether he will remain on youthful offender status, according to the disposition order.

On September 10, a ‘Service Plan’ was filed with Scott County, which outlined goals and objectives set for Andrews to meet during his time in Mount Pleasant.

The plan includes setting goals for his education and behavioral skills.

In July, Attorney Mike Walton told TV6 juvenile court does not impose "sentences," meaning there is no place where juveniles are sent for a certain number of years. There are many options a judge may decide are best for the offender, and the emphasis in juvenile court is to determine what is in the best interest of the juvenile to help them return home.

In the case of Andrews, the court decided Mount Pleasant was determined to be the most appropriate option.

Last week, Lindsay Andrews, the mother of Luke Andrews, appeared in front of the North Scott School board, requesting they end her son’s indefinite expulsion, saying he was unable to get an education from any other school.

Andrews told the board she would not bring him back to the district if the expulsion is lifted.

North Scott Superintendent Joe Stutting tells TV6 the district will uphold the decision made, indefinitely expelling Andrews.

TV6 reached out to the Iowa Department of Education to find out whether Andrews would be able to enroll in another public school district.

According to a spokesperson for the department, Iowa Code states the board of another district would have to have a majority vote to let an expelled student enroll there if the student hasn’t met the conditions of their expulsion.