Two students enter pleas to failing to report a crime in Madison Jr./Sr. High School shooting

Investigators say they knew shooter had gun
Two students enter pleas to failing to report a crime in Madison Jr./Sr. High School shooting
Posted at 2:01 PM, Aug 03, 2016

BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio -- Two students answered "true" to misdemeanor charges of failing to report a crime in connection with a February shooting at Madison Junior/Senior High School.

In court Tuesday, Butler County Juvenile Court Magistrate Patricia Wilkerson told the boys they were relinquishing their rights to a trial by answering "true," the Journal-News reported.

Investigators determined the boys knew Austin Hancock, 15, had a gun at the school but didn't tell authorities. According to police, the boys said they saw Hancock's gun several times the day of the shooting.

ALSO: Sheriff says charges could've been severe

Tuesday's hearings last about 10 minutes each. The boys will be allowed to return to Madison Jr./Sr. High when classes begin later this month, and they'll get back their cellphones -- the Butler County Sheriff's Office confiscated the devices in February.

Disposition hearings in their cases are set for October.

Hancock opened fire in the school's cafeteria during lunchtime Feb. 29, striking students Cameron Smith and Cooper Caffrey. Two other students, Brant Murray and Katherine Doucette, were injured trying to get away. All survived.

PHOTOS: Inside the cafeteria shooting scene

Hancock got the gun two days before the shooting from a family member, and he had extra ammunition with him, according to sheriff’s Maj. Mike Craft.

Hancock pleaded guilty in April to four counts of attempted murder and one count of inducing panic. Butler County Juvenile Court Judge Ronald Craft sentenced him to three years for each count of attempted murder, totaling to a 12-year sentence. However, if he successfully completes six years of his sentence in an Ohio Department of Youth Services facility, Hancock will be out of jail by age 21.

READ MORE: Police explore motivation for shooting

Craft said if Hancock commits a felony while in the juvenile facility, he will serve the full 12 years.


Rick McCrabb of WCPO media partner the Journal-News contributed to this report.