Second mental evaluation ordered for Joplin teen suspect

Saturday, May 2, 2009 | 4:26 p.m. CDT

JOPLIN — A teenager charged with firing an assault weapon in a Joplin middle school will get a second mental evaluation.

Jasper County Circuit Judge David Mouton ordered the second evaluation to determine if 16-year-old Thomas White is capable of helping his defense.

Prosecutors say White fired one round into a ceiling and repeatedly tried to shoot the principal at Memorial Middle School in Joplin in October 2006. Police say the gun jammed because of an improperly seated ammunition clip. No one was injured.

White was 13 at the time but is being tried as an adult.

Earlier this year, a state psychiatrist found White mentally incompetent to assist in his defense.


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