Tuesday, February 12 2013 3:06 PM EST2013-02-12 20:06:23 GMT
A Farb Middle School teacher was on compulsory leave Tuesday and facing a possible felony charge for allegedly bringing a gun and a knife to work.More >>
A Farb Middle School teacher was on compulsory leave Tuesday and facing a possible felony charge for allegedly bringing a gun and a knife to work, possibly as a means of defending himself in the event of a shooting or other violence at the campus, authorities reported.More >>
SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A Farb Middle School teacher accused of bringing a loaded gun and knife to work, possibly as a means of defending himself in the event of a shooting or other violence at the Tierrasanta campus, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to felony weapons charges.
Seventh- and eighth-grade English instructor Ned Carter Walker, 41, faces up to five years and eight months in prison if convicted of possessing a firearm on school grounds and possessing a knife or stabbing instrument on school grounds.
Walker -- who is free on $50,000 bail -- will be back in court April 2 for a readiness conference and April 23 for a preliminary hearing.
Superior Court Judge Peter Deddeh ordered the defendant to stay away from the school while the case is pending.
Walker remains on administrative leave from his job, said his attorney, Gerissa Santos.
"He's obviously devastated, he loves his job, and he loves teaching," Santos said outside court. "He has a background with teaching ... his wife's a teacher. He has kids. He is devastated about all this. He misses his job, he misses his students.
"It's a devastating situation," the attorney said. "Unfortunately it's what we're faced with. And as much as we'd like to have him back on campus, have him back teaching -- some of his students want him back as well -- it's just not possible at this time given the disposition of the case."
Walker was taken into custody Feb. 11 in a parking lot at the school.
San Diego Unified School District police Chief Rueben Littlejohn told reporters that Walker's alleged decision to carry a loaded .380-caliber pistol and a knife with a 2 1/2-inch blade onto the school grounds may have been well-intentioned, but was nonetheless illegal and contrary to district regulations.
"We speculate that, based on reports from staff members, this employee had somewhat of an infatuation with guns and brought the weapon(s) to the school to protect himself in the event of a violent intruder," Littlejohn said during a news briefing last week.
A conviction on either or both of the felony charges -- one per weapon -- would be grounds for dismissal, school district spokesman Jack Brandais said.