School bottle rocket prank may mean 20 years in prison for 2 students
By Andrew Keller, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
On Monday, 17-year old senior Troy O'Dell and 17-year old junior Cody Felver were arraigned in Saginaw County with charges stemming from explosive violations.
MERRILL, MI (WNEM) -
Two students could receive 20 years in prison if they're convicted of setting off bottle rockets inside one Mid-Michigan school.
The sound of explosions echoed through the halls of Merrill High School last Thursday. The sounds put students and staff on edge.
"My heart just stopped and I said, 'Oh I hope nobody got hurt, that was my first instinct,'" said Merrill Schools Superintendent Sarah Kettelhohn.
Kettelhohn said smoke filled the hallways and there was a moment of chaos on May 8. But she soon learned it was just a prank. Saginaw County Sheriff Bill Federspiel said two students set off bottle rockets. One of his deputies arrested the two suspects immediately after the explosions.
"One of them said they did it on a dare, and I just can't fathom what would possess someone to do that in light of the world we live in today," said Federspiel.
On Monday, 17-year old senior Troy O'Dell and 17-year old junior Cody Felver were arraigned in Saginaw County with charges stemming from explosive violations. Because it happened on school grounds, they face 20-year felonies.
"Extremely poor decisions, their intentions were to scare and create fear, and we have laws that prevent people from doing that," said Federspiel.
Parents TV5 spoke with Monday afternoon said while they disagree with what the students did, 20 years is a steep penalty.
"Kids do stupid things sometimes, but to hear 20 years for a prank like this, I just think it's a little outrageous," said parent Aubrey Woods.
"If that was your child, I hope to God my child would never do that, but 20 years, that's huge," said parent Stacie Wazny.
O'Dell would have been done with school on Friday, May 9, as that was the qualified senior's last day. Felver will face the school board next. Kettelhohn said the district has a zero-tolerance policy.
Kettelhohn said the district never went on lockdown because the two were apprehended shortly after the incident.
Copyright 2013 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Do you think the punishment fits the crime?
Thank you for participating in our poll!
School bottle rocket prank may mean 20 years in prison for 2 studentsMore>>
Tuesday, June 17 2014 7:17 PM EDT2014-06-17 23:17:56 GMT
Her own husband paid to have her killed. Instead, the Portland woman killed her attacker with her bare hands. Now, almost eight years later, her ex could walk free again. She hopes sharing her own desperateMore >
Her own husband paid to have her killed. Instead, the Portland woman killed her attacker with her bare hands. Now, almost eight years later, her ex could walk free again. More >
Sunday, August 31 2014 10:38 PM EDT2014-09-01 02:38:10 GMT
Silverton police are still searching for Jason Clifford Down, who is the main suspect in a fatal shooting Saturday afternoon. Police responded to shots fired in the 200 block of Olson Rd at 3:44pm. ItMore >
Detectives identified the victim who was shot and killed in Silverton on Saturday as 50-year-old Cassandra Wagner.More >
Sunday, August 31 2014 4:37 PM EDT2014-08-31 20:37:17 GMT
Photo Clackamas County Sheriffs Office
Clackamas Sheriff's Office responded Saturday afternoon to the report of a single vehicle crash in Molalla. The collision occurred on S. Palmer Rd, south of Hwy 213 at 4:40pm. An investigation revealedMore >
An 18-year-old is facing charges including DUII and assault after deputies said he flipped his truck with five other teenage passengers inside near Highway 213 in Molalla.More >