Student killed, another arrested in Porter school bus stabbing

Tuesday, December 9th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

A15-year-old boy could be charged as an adult for murder. He’s suspected of stabbing a classmate to death.

The stabbing happened on a bus as it headed to the Porter High School. Deputies say Dustin Dillingham was arguing with Andy Robinson. Dillingham used an emergency exit to jump out.

He was arrested about four hours later hiding next to a pond, three miles from where it happened. Deputies say he took them to the knife he'd thrown in some weeds after the stabbing.

Wagoner County Sheriff Rudy Briggs: "There were several children on the bus when it happened, about 12 to 20, from kindergarten to seniors." State agents questioned the students on the bus, and then counselors were made available to help them.

Dillingham's grandfather told deputies the boy had been picked on, and the family had encouraged him to stand up for himself. Robinson's family says he and Dillingham got into a fight over a computer not long ago. The victim's uncle spoke to the News on 6 about the death of his nephew.

Ronnie Welch says his family is in disbelief. He says Andy was his grandfather's pride and joy. The grandfather is now bed-ridden with grief. Welch says rumors that Andy bullied fellow students are not true. He says Andy was a good student, a good athlete and a good kid. "Andy was not a bully. He did defend himself and he didn't tolerate anybody else being abused or put down. But, he stood up for himself, but he never did put anybody else down."

Welch says Andy's parents are taking the death of their only son very hard. Andy's best friend is also having a difficult time dealing with the tragedy, and is now in counseling.

Residents in the small, close-knit town of Porter are also in shock. Many people the News on 6 spoke with knew both the victim and the suspect's families. While most classmates were too upset to talk, one parent told us his daughter had witnessed Dustin Dillingham constantly being picked on by Andy Robinson and other students. Still no one suspected such a violent act among local students.

Parent Kenny Stockton: "It's just something you'd never dream would happen in Porter, as small a town as it is. You'd just never dream.”

Parent Penny Bolin: “The worst thing that ever happened when I went to school here was a fist fight. Now you gotta worry about someone shooting you or cutting you. It's not even safe to send your kids to school anymore.”

Porter schools will have counselors on hand this week to help students cope.