COLLEGE PLACE, WA - Law enforcement officials gathered in College Place today a little more than a week after a middle school principal was allegedly attacked.
Criminal proceedings for Lamont and Jaymond Oakhurst have stalled because a Superior Court judge has ordered competency evaluations before moving forward with any court dates.
18-year-old Jaymond is charged with two counts of first degree assault, one count of second degree malicious mischief, and one count of felony harassment. His brother, 16-year-old Lamont is charged in juvenile court with two counts of second degree assault and one count of second degree malicious mischief. Despite these charges, everything is being put on hold until medical experts can determine if they are mentally fit to stand trial.
"The Superior Court judge entered an order for a competency evaluation, so his competency to stand trial and be involved in any further proceedings is going to be evaluated by a psychiatric, psychological expert before any other further proceedings," said Walla Walla County Prosecutor Jim Nagle.
Both brothers are still in custody, and Nagle says there isn't a timeline as to when those competency evaluations will be completed.
The elder Oakhurst is being held on a $100,000 bond.
There was talk that they would release the video of the assault, but because of some legal issues involving FERPA, they weren't able to release it today.
As the brothers sit behind bars, first responders shined a little more light on their cases...beginning with reiterating the possible motive the two had for allegedly attacking John Sager Middle School's principal last Thursday.
"Investigators believe their motive may have been related to an injury sustained by their mother, or provider or foster mother, which triggered a fear of being removed from the home," said Troy Tomaras, College Place Police Chief. "Investigators believe they may have had a plan to get their sister out of school and run away."
The initial police report states the weapon used in the attack resembled a spear, and the police chief confirmed that suspicion today.
"It appears to be almost, it looks like a javelin," Chief Tomaras explained. "It almost looks like it came from a weather vane."
Both brothers will undergo competency evaluations before any further court proceedings can take place, and as of now, there isn't a set timeline for how long those evaluations could take due to a backlog of cases.
"They're supposed to have them done within a certain period of time, but because of issues involving the number of cases they have to handle, sometimes they take longer," said Nagle.
Until then, the two brothers are in custody.
And today, on the last day of the school year, Principal Stopperan got a chance to thank the first responders who came to his aid...shaking each hand in appreciation of their efforts.
COLLEGE PLACE, WA - Right now, Lamont Oakhurst is facing two counts of second degree assault and one count of malicious mischief. Originally, there was talk of him looking at a harassment charge as well, but that was taken off the table.
These charges come after an incident last week in which he and his older brother, Jaymond Oakhurst, attacked staff members at the John Sager Middle School in College Place, according to the police department.
The younger Oakhurst is just 16 years old, so he is being charged as a minor and is being held at the Walla Walla Juvenile Detention Center. At this time, he can't get out on bail.
However, both of those things are subject to change based on the remainder of his trial. His next trial date is scheduled for Friday morning.
COLLEGE PLACE, WA - We've been following the attack at John Sager Middle School that caused a district-wide lock down on Thursday. Reporter Jaclyn Selesky went to College Place and spoke with Timber Burton, a parent whose son texted him during the lock down to let him know he was safe.
At the time, his son didn't know what was going on and that the entire district went on lock down. Students described teachers locking doors of classrooms and directing them to safer places like under desks and away from windows. The parent we spoke with seemed to think the school district and local law enforcement handled things well.
"I was very impressed with the response," Burton said. "We have a great community here, and our law enforcement, and it was very cool to see all the different agencies that were there."
Walla Walla Sheriff's Office, Washington State Patrol, and the College Place Police Department all responded within minutes of the initial call. Aside from the principal's non-life threatening injuries, everyone else was safe.
Today, classes went on as normal, and Burton said he didn't feel hesitant sending his son back to school.
COLLEGE PLACE, WA - Two brothers are in custody after attacking the principal of a local school. Reporter Jaclyn Selesky learned more about the attack that happened at John Sager Middle School yesterday afternoon.
18-year-old Jaymond Oakhurst made his first appearance in Walla Walla County Court today, and Prosecuting Attorney James Nagle says he's being held on a $100,000 bail and will most likely be charged today.
"It's been quite a while since we've had an incident like this," Nagle said.
It's a much calmer day at the College Place middle school and high school campus, following Thursday's attack.
Brothers Jaymond and Lamont Oakhurst are both in custody after attacking the principal of John Sager Middle School with two weapons, and as for Jaymond...
"We expect that charges will be filed later today," said Nagle, "charging him with first degree assault, one count of second degree malicious mischief, and one count of misdemeanor harassment."
Lamont Oakhurst is only 16 years old, but he could possibly be charged as an adult. He'll make his first court appearance Monday morning.
Both boys are students at College Park High School, which shares the same campus as the middle school. Police reports say the brothers went to the middle school's administrative office with a nearly five-foot long spear and a wooden staff, demanding to see their younger sister. They shoved their way through, using their weapon to break through a glass window that leads to the main office. Staff were able to escape and alert other teachers.
That's when Principal Dale Stopperan came out of his office to confront the boys. The older of the two hit him in the knee with the wooden staff, and also severed part of his right ear with the spear.
At that point, other teachers arrived, armed with baseball bats.
Multiple agencies responded to the school. When officers arrived, they saw the staff standing at the entrance with their baseball bats.
Officers had to shoot two bean bag rounds at Lamont to get him to surrender.
Chief Tomaras with the College Place Police Department says the Oakhurst siblings are currently living with a foster family. He says their foster mom got injured, causing the boys to be worried that she wouldn't be able to provide for them and that they would be sent back to where they were living before. This is why they went to get their younger sister at the middle school, with intentions to run away.
Jaclyn spoke with the school district, who said they're focusing on the students and staff, trying to get everything back to normal. They also say Principal Stopperan is doing much better and will return back to work on Monday.
COLLEGE PLACE, WA - We now know the suspects in the attack at John Sager Middle School are siblings from College Place. The 16-year-old and 18-year-old didn't go to school before the attack.
Right now, we don't know why they targeted the middle school or the administrative office.
Police took the 16-year-old to a juvenile detention facility and they took the 18-year-old to the Walla Walla corrections Facility pending arraignment.
Officers say the students went inside the lobby and forced their way into a locked administrative office by using a wood club and a long metal spear to break the glass. When they got inside, the Principal, Dale Stopperan, tried to stop them and was assaulted.
Other staff members came to help the Stopperan, and scared the teens off. One suspect ran around the back of the school and was immediately taken into custody. The second suspect didn't respond to an officers command, so they used a less lethal bean-bag to get them to drop his weapon and take him into custody. .
Medics took Principal Stopperan to the hospital where he was treated and released.
COLLEGE PLACE, WA - A little after 1:00 p.m. this afternoon, law enforcement responded to a call claiming a middle school principal was attacked by two students.
We now know that the John Sager Middle School principal, Dale Stopperan, has been released from the hospital and is continuing to recover tonight. Stopperan suffered severe cuts to the left side of his face.
Two high school students were quickly taken into custody after allegedly attacking him with a spear-type weapon. Officials made checks around the school to make sure no other students or staff were harmed.
"I look over, Mr. Carlin runs out of the classroom," said freshman Braden Hill, who was in lock down with his classmates. "We were all kind of confused. He tells us we were in lock down so we all got under the desk. I look out the window because I have class up there and saw cop cars rushing by in front of Sager, so I knew it was in front of Sager, that's about it."
Sports and other after school activities were all canceled today, and we have yet to talk with the school district to see if that was because of the incident. Again, the two individuals have been taken into custody and the principal is facing non life-threatening injuries.
We will continue to follow this story and provide more information as it develops.