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Teen Gets House Arrest in Nev. Shooting

May 27, 2006

RENO, Nev. (AP) _ A 14-year-old boy who shot and injured two fellow middle school students was sentenced Friday to house arrest until he completes 200 hours of community service.

Prosecutors had recommended James Scott Newman, who pleaded guilty to battery with a deadly weapon, be placed in a state juvenile facility.

Washoe County Juvenile Court Master Janet Schmuck acknowledged she struggled with the sentence before she ordered to him to have electronic monitoring and 24-hour supervision at his parents home in Reno.

``If it does not work to the court’s satisfaction, James will be committed,″ Schmuck said. ``But I want to give James and his family an opportunity to make it work.″

Deputy District Attorney Jo Lee Wickes immediately appealed the sentence, saying it was not proper given the seriousness of the crime.

Newman told the judge he feels like ``a changed person″ since he’s been undergoing psychological counseling at a juvenile jail in Reno.

``I can’t tell you how sorry I am,″ he said. ``I realize what I’ve done is wrong. I can’t take back what I’ve done.″

Police say Newman took a .38-caliber pistol from his parents’ closet and fired three rounds in a hallway at Pine Middle School on March 14.

One boy was wounded in the arm and a girl was grazed by a bullet that ricocheted off the floor. The boy was treated at a hospital and released the same day. The girl was treated at the scene.

Newman told investigators he was tired of being put down as ``stupid″ by his father, brother and others, and that nobody liked him.

His lawyer, David Houston of Reno, said it would be counterproductive to send him to a state facility, where he would be influenced by repeat offenders. He said state law dictates such commitments be a last resort.

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