Report: Mass. Stabbing Suspect Earlier Took Pocketknife, Fake Gun To School Without Punishment

Saturday, March 3rd 2007, 3:26 pm
By: News On 6

BOSTON (AP) _ A high school student accused of stabbing a classmate to death in school in January had taken a pocketknife and fake handgun to school on separate occasions last fall but was not disciplined or reported to police, authorities report.

Sudbury Police Chief Peter Fadgen said a psychologist at Lincoln Sudbury Regional High reported the incidents to his supervisor, but did not tell John Ritchie, who is both superintendent and high school principal, Fadgen said.

John Odgren, 16, handed a folding knife slightly bigger than a Swiss Army knife to his psychologist last September, telling him he brought it to school by mistake, Fadgen said.

A few weeks later, Fadgen said, Odgren showed a fake pistol to the same psychologist and told him it was a prop for drama class.

Both times the psychologist confiscated the items but returned them at the end of the school day.

``I thought it was an improper way to handle it,'' Fadgen told The Boston Globe.

Schools are required by law to tell local police about children who bring weapons to school, Fadgen said.

Odgren is scheduled to be arraigned on first-degree murder charges Tuesday for allegedly stabbing to death James Alenson, 15, in a school bathroom.

Fadgen would not name the psychologist and said he did not know if the psychologist was employed by the school or another agency.

Ritchie did not return Globe calls seeking comment. The Middlesex District Attorney's office and Odgren's attorney declined to comment.