Teen shooter to remain in custody despite progress

Wednesday, November 28th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) _ A teen-ager convicted of shooting five classmates at Fort Gibson Middle School has made good progress, but should remain in custody for at least another six months, a district judge ruled Tuesday.

The seriousness of Seth Trickey's crimes warrants continued supervision with the state Office of Juvenile Affairs for the 14-year-old, Associate District Judge Tom Alford said.

Trickey fired 15 shots at his peers Dec. 6, 1999, outside the school before a teacher convinced him to surrender. Five students were wounded, and a sixth found a bullet embedded in a book in his backpack.

Trickey was convicted as a juvenile of six counts of shooting with intent to kill and one count of carrying a gun on school property. He is being held at the Lloyd E. Rader Children's Center in Sand Springs.

Trickey has completed the Intensive Treatment Program at the center and is entering a second, ``medium secure'' treatment plan, a report says.

His attorney, Jim Wilcoxen, said the teen's extended stay at Rader has been frustrating.

Trickey's newest therapy program is a similar to programs he has successfully completed, Wilcoxen said. The teen needs more freedom to interact with people outside the juvenile justice system, the attorney said.

``He needs to begin the process of reintegration with his family and reintegration with the community. That's not happening, Wilcoxen said.

Another of Trickey's attorneys, Drew Wilcoxen, said the boy possibly could be permitted to take four-hour leaves with staff members while in the medium secure phase. The passes would be the first step toward Trickey's eventual release, Drew Wilcoxen, Jim Wilcoxen's brother and law partner, said.

``I think that's definitely where we're headed,'' Drew Wilcoxen said. ``It's my understanding he was cleared for a staff pass last month but something fell through.

``Staff passes are something that will happen real soon.''

Trickey was described as a good student who had many friends and was involved in athletics at his school. But court testimony last year showed he had a preoccupation with guns and the military and that he wanted to know how he would react to a simulated combat situation.

The boy had also spent time thinking about the Littleton, Colo., shootings at Columbine High School, testimony indicated.

The report said that while Trickey is showing progress, there is still room for him to improve.

``He (Trickey) is complying in his counseling sessions but needs to address past issues, coping skills, expressing/ talking about his feelings and learn alternate ways to express his anger,'' the report said.

Trickey didn't attend the hearing, but his parents did. They left the courthouse without comment.

Trickey will remain in custody until he is re-evaluated May 28.

If deemed necessary, Trickey can be kept in state custody until his 19th birthday.