A 17-year-old Fayette County honor student will spend the next couple of years in boot camp and a detention center after being sentenced for bringing an arsenal of weapons to school.
Robin Christopher Kittrell was arrested on the first day of class last August after authorities found the weapons in the trunk of his car at Whitewater High School.
District Attorney Scott Ballard asked the judge to sentence Kittrell to five years in prison, followed by five more years of probation. The defense just wanted probation.
In the end, the judge wanted to send a message, with time in an adult detention center, but not to prison.
“It’s hard to comprehend why this occurred, but it did occur,” said Judge Tommy Hankinson.
It was a situation that could have easily turned to tragedy. Fayette County authorities say Kittrell brought an arsenal of weapons to Whitewater High on the first day of school last August, including two handguns, two rifles, a ninja-style sword, and a switchblade.
The honor student pleaded guilty last November to all nine charges against him. Now was the time for sentencing, after a day-long hearing of testimony from the school resource officer and the defendant.
Judge Hankinson acknowledged that Kittrell did not have a prior record, but felt he should be punished for bringing the weapons to school.
“I sentence you to ten years, to be served as follows,” Hankinson said. “A complete probation boot camp. Following probation boot camp, you will serve two years in the probation detention center. Following your release from probation detention center, you will serve the remainder of your sentence on probation with the first year on intensive probation.”
D.A. Scott Ballard asked for five years prison time, but he says he is pleased with this sentence.
“I’ve got a strong feeling that he will stay in jail as long with this sentence as if he had gotten what I had asked for, because I think the parole board might have let him out, certainly before he completed the full five years I was asking for,” Ballard said.
Defense attorney Lee Sexton says he is also pleased with the judge’s decision.
“I truly have doubts he could have survived that sentence,” Sexton said. “I commend the judge for not letting us test that theory.”
Kittrell was escorted out of the courtroom, and will remain in the Fayette County Jail until a spot opens up for him at that boot camp. He is expected to spend about six months there, before heading over to the detention center for possibly another two years.
When asked why he brought the weapons to the school in the first place, he said that he had no intention of hurting any of his classmates.