Mother of Indiana school shooter charged with felonies

Indiana school shooter wanted to 'cause maximum damage'
The window that was shot out at Dennis Intermediate School.

Back in December of last year, 14-year-old Brandon Clegg forced his mother’s boyfriend at gunpoint to drive him to Dennis Intermediate School in Richmond, Indiana. By the time Clegg got to the school, his mother had already warned police that her son was going to shoot up the school. The school went into lockdown and police arrived on the scene quickly. After exchanging gunfire with police, Clegg chose to take his own life. Outside of Clegg, no one was harmed in the shooting, but the story didn’t end there.

Clegg’s mother claimed that her son was bullied at the school when he attended there but he had not attended the school in some time. Former classmates say that Clegg was teased about his hair but wasn’t really bullied. Clegg had obtained the firearms from a gun cabinet in the home that wasn’t very secure. He grabbed the guns after breaking the glass to the cabinet.

Clegg’s mother also claimed that her son went to the school strictly to kill himself but Clegg also took Molotov cocktails with him to the school. Police later announced that they believed that Clegg intended to inflict maximum damage and a handwritten plan of attack against the school had been found.  Clegg’s mother had also appeared on the Dr. Oz TV show but I can’t speak to that since I never watched it.

However, earlier today, an arrest warrant was issued for Clegg’s mother, Mary York. She’s been charged with six felony and one misdemeanor child endangerment charges.

The charges are:

  • Dangerous control of a child for recklessly allowing her son to possess a handgun and rifle while aware there was a substantial risk of him committing a felony — murder or battery — and failing to make a reasonable effort to prevent the use of the firearms in the commission of a felony;
  • Neglect of a dependent by placing the dependent in a situation that endangers the dependent for failing to remove firearms from their South West 16th Street residence after her son threatened to kill students at Dennis and discharged a firearm inside her home;
  • Neglect of a dependent by depriving the dependent of necessary support for failing to remove a .45-caliber handgun from the home after her son threatened to kill students at Dennis;
  • Neglect of a dependent by depriving the dependent of necessary support for failing to provide counseling for her son because of his mental health issues;
  • Neglect of a dependent by depriving dependent of necessary support for failing to reasonably supervise her son;
  • Neglect of a dependent by placing the dependent in a situation that endangers the dependent for failing to ensure her son was taking prescribed medications; and 
  • Criminal recklessness for recklessly or knowingly performing an act that created a substantial risk of bodily injury to Dennis students and staff because she allowed firearms in her residence after learning her son had threatened to kill students at Dennis and had discharged a handgun in her home.

To be more specific, York allegedly allowed firearms to be kept in the home after being made well aware of Clegg’s mental illness. She allegedly told police that she wasn’t aware that her son had any mental health issues even though her son had been admitted to a mental health treatment center for expressing homicidal and suicidal thoughts. She took him out of the center against medical advice. York also reportedly took Clegg off of his medication because it made him feel ‘weird’. Clegg claimed to have heard voices but from what I understand, schizophrenics don’t hear voices in their head until adulthood. If I am wrong about that please feel free to correct me. Clegg was even said to have fired a gun in the home but the incident was never reported.

I’m not saying she put the gun in her son’s hand but she may as well have with the way she disregarded his mental health issues and then hid them from police.

It’s incredibly rare for the parent of a school shooter to be charged in connection with the crimes their children commit but we are starting to see a reversal of that way of thinking. As far as I’m concerned law enforcement should have been doing this with a lot of parents going back to the 90s.


One thought on “Mother of Indiana school shooter charged with felonies”

  1. I applaud every single one of those charges regarding the guns. It’s about time. “Responsible” gun owners are responsible for more gun related deaths than mass murderers ever dreamed of. This may be the way to get the attention of, at the least, the gun owners with minor children in the house.

    As to all of the charges regarding a parent being held accountable for her son taking his meds, participating in counseling and the rest of those charges (especially the catch-all “lack of supervision”), those may be a little more problematic. Clearly she was supervising, she called the police and her boyfriend was being held hostage. Supervision has a subjective definition, at best, when discussing a teenager. Control is what they wanted. I don’t know anything about their life so I don’t know if control was possible.

    Did she take him out of the treatment center against medical advice on a whim? We don’t know. I do know that insurance (if they had any) limits the amount they will pay for these facilities and I also know that they can run anywhere from $300 a day to as much as $20,000 a month. That puts it out of the reach of most people, regardless of what the medical advice is.

    You can’t force a child of a certain age to take medicine or even go to therapy. Our country does not have a consistent age of consent for this, each state decides (or decides not to decide) what age is appropriate. It leaves parents in a untenable situation in many cases. They can be charged with abuse for forcing this kind of “help” on their unwilling kids.

    I don’t have the answer to most of these issues but charging parents with child abuse charges for not getting the help their child needs when there is no support or legal recourse to get that help is definitely not the answer.

    Regardless of this prosecutor being one of those that overcharges (this habit needs to STOP), the best course for now is gun control. May we please have some???

    Please enjoy this study on the parents who are between a rock and a hard place if their kid needs help and refuses to accept it.

    Liked by 1 person

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