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Perry Hall Shooter Sentenced To 35 Years

Robert Gladden, 15, shot a classmate at Perry Hall High School in August.

(Update 4:34 p.m.)—Perry Hall High School shooter Robert Gladden Jr., 15, was sentenced to 35 years in prison Monday.

Gladden was given a life sentence with all but 35 years suspended on an attempted first-degree murder charge, and 20 years to run concurrently for the use of a firearm during a violent act. He had pleaded guilty to the charges on Feb. 19

The other 27 counts against the teenager were dropped.

Baltimore County Circuit Court Judge Robert Cahill Jr. questioned the sincerity of Gladden's proclaimed remorse ahead of the sentencing, citing that the teenager made disturbing remarks in previous telephone recordings.

"Frankly, I don't know if I find those expressions of remorse to be credible," Cahill said.

The judge also criticized Gladden's defense attorney George Psoras for excessively blaming the school system and overstating the impact of bullying.

"This conduct was not a consequence of him being bullied," he said.

Cahill also called Psoras' assertion that Daniel Borowy, a special needs student who was seriously injured following the Aug. 27 attack, benefited from the attack "borderline offensive." Borowy had received correspondences from his music idol Lady Gaga and First Lady Michelle Obama among other notable figures, as well as an outpouring of community support.

The judge said he also heard no testimony that connected Gladden's diagnoses of attention deficit disorder, hyperactivity and depression with the shooting incident.

"The link between those things have not been established," he said.

Cahill was also moved by the testimony of Kathleen Watkins, a Perry Hall administrator who was monitoring the cafeteria where the shooting occurred. Testimony he said gave insight into the minds of what he called the other victims, Perry Hall staff and students at the scene.

"He was looking at me dead in the eyes...I was looking right down the barrel," Watkins said. "I think I was the next convenient target."

Guidance counselor Jesse Wasmer and other school staff intervened before the attack could continue, she said.

Watkins continued her victim impact statement by explaining the terror the 500 students in the cafeteria faced on that day—a terror she said continues to haunt the school community to this day.

"The impact on our school is just amazing," she said.

In seeking leniency ahead of the sentencing, Psoras repeatedly stated that Gladden is only a child, and asked Cahill not to exceed 30 years in his sentencing with all but 15 suspended.

"That's a lifetime," Psoras said. "Bobby Gladden is 15. That's a lifetime."

Gladden read a letter to the Borowy family expressing his apologies for the attack before Cahill handed down the sentence.

"If I didn't tell you, you might believe what the media is saying about me being a cold-hearted monster," he said.

Stay with Patch for updates.


Local Editor Adam Bednar contributed to this report.

Renee February 27, 2013 at 03:36 PM
I believe you are naive to think that Maryland abides by this! Read the whole article and see how this man only served 10 years of a 20 year sentence for murder and killed again once he got out!! http://parkville.patch.com/articles/man-sentenced-to-55-years-in-parkville-high-students-slaying
Kristi H February 28, 2013 at 09:11 PM
He deserves what he got and then some. At 15, he would only grow up and do more harm to society. I am so tired of the "bully card" and he "needs help" he was "bullied" his parents "failed him". It is all BS. He knew damn well what he was doing. The entire school is lucky that no one was killed. And poor Daniel, my heart still aches for this boy and his family. I hope he serves his full sentence.
Nosyneighbor March 01, 2013 at 04:49 AM
You are both partially correct. Check the Maryland Judiciary website. According to that website, he was convicted in two separate cases - one case was a conviction for First Degree Murder and a handgun violation and the second case was Attempted Armed Robbery. Just because the patch and the sun wrote incorrect/incomplete information doesn't make it true. Oh, and he was sentenced to twenty years, ten suspended on the First Degree Murder; five years for the handgun; and twenty years, ten suspended and three years probation on the Attempted Armed Robbery.
Allison March 05, 2013 at 10:01 AM
Even if he was bullied, which, from what I understand, is NOT the case, how is that an excuse or even a valid reason for his action? If he had punched a kid in the face and broke their nose, then I could see people saying he was pushed to his limit. He wasn't provoked, this was planned, and he even had plenty of time to rethink his actions. As sad as it is, he wanted to kill, and it didn't matter who. If he was bullied, he would have had a target, not the back of a kid he probably didn't even know.
Allison May 18, 2013 at 08:56 AM
I see people saying how frightening it will be when Robert Gladden is brought back to society in 35 years...has it downed on anyone that that day will probably never come? He is arrogant, like most his age; he will dive into the prison world thinking he will be safe because he's a kid. He's wrong. He will be attacked, harmed, and other things that aren't quite appropriate to mention. I don't have pity for this person, but I feel sad all the same. We all wish this could have been avoided...he is a child, after all. But the fact is that he made this choice, no matter who the media, or anyone else, wants to point the finger at. He's a ghost already, and I'm sure if he somehow survives 35 years locked up with the real monsters, I doubt he'll be capable of any harm.

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