Trial Set For Teen Accused Of Killing Principal In School Shooting Spree

Trial Set For Teen Accused Of Killing Principal In School Shooting Spree

A 14-year-old accused of opening fire with a semi-automatic rifle in his school, killing the principal and wounding three others, pleaded innocent Thursday to charges of murder and aggravated battery.


James Alan Kearbey appeared at a closed juvenile court hearing after Sedgwick County District Judge Ron Rogg found him competent to stand trial, said Larry Vardaman, director of the Sedgwick County Youth Residence Hall.


Rogg, who made the competency decision after reviewing reports from two court-appointed psychologists, set March 11 for the start of the trial, which also will be closed.

Three prosecutors, Kearbey’s lawyer and his parents, Wayne and Mary Kearbey, attended the 15-minute hearing, Vardaman said.


Rogg ordered the ninth grader held at the Youth Residence Hall, a secure domitory-like facility where he has been since his arrest.


Kearbey was charged after a Jan. 21 attack in which Goddard Junior High School Principal James McGee, 35, was killed and two teachers and a student were wounded. He is accused of firing about a dozen shots from an M-1 semi- automatic rifle.


Kearbey was arrested about 30 minutes after the shootings as he crossed a field, walking toward a residential area on the south edge of Goddard, a suburban community of some 1,550 people about 10 miles west of Wichita in southeast Kansas.