Attorney: Noblesville West Middle School shooting suspect to admit to attack

(FILE) Parents drive students to school as they return to class for the first time at Noblesville West Middle School since a shooting in Noblesville, Ind. in May 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A 13-year-old boy accused of shooting a classmate and a teacher at their suburban Indianapolis school will admit to carrying out the attack during a November hearing, the teen’s attorney said Thursday.

After the boy makes his admission at a Nov. 5 juvenile court hearing in Noblesville, the judge will hold a disposition hearing, which is similar to a sentencing hearing but focuses on rehabilitation instead of punishment, attorney Chris Eskew said.

Hamilton Circuit Court Judge Paul Felix will hear testimony and arguments at the disposition hearing but is unlikely to decide that day on a course of rehabilitation for the teen, he said.

The boy faces 11 charges, including two counts of attempted murder, stemming from the May 25 shooting at the middle school in Noblesville. He’s accused of shooting teacher Jason Seaman and 13-year-old Ella Whistler.

Whistler survived after being shot seven times, while Seaman, a seventh-grade science teacher, was shot three times.

Authorities say the teen entered Seaman’s classroom with two handguns and opened fire, and that Seaman tackled him and stopped the attack.

The boy had been scheduled to appear for a fact-finding hearing, which is similar to a trial, on Sept. 10-11. But an order issued Wednesday by Felix instead scheduled an admission/uncontested fact-finding hearing and a disposition hearing for Nov. 5.

The Associated Press isn’t using the boy’s name because he’s charged as a juvenile. Under state law, the boy can’t face adult charges because of his age.

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