Bond denied for armed West Monroe HS suspects

Matthew W. Hutson and Theodore Christopher Herr

WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Bond for the two men accused of carrying a gun at West Monroe High School has been denied.

Police say Theodore Herr and Matthew Hutson entered the campus with holstered firearms setting off a series of events that resulted in an hourlong school lockdown and their arrests.

According to the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office website, the total bond for the pair was set at $6,200.

Fourth Judicial District Attorney Steve Tew asked the court at their 72-hour hearings to deny their bond. The court complied, and a public bond hearing is set for Monday at 9 a.m.

Tew told KNOE in a phone conversation that the $6,200 total bond amount, “was too low”.

While the DA's office was busy handling the legal side of Tuesday's events, school administration began working towards ways to keep anything like this from happening again.

"Plans are being made to make this campus even safer, and our student body more protected," said Shelby Ainsworth, principal at West Monroe High School.

Ainsworth says some preliminary plans are in place, but nothing is set it stone.

"I can just say that it could include some partial fencing, or security door systems," said Ainsworth.

As for a message to parents, Ainsworth says they won't rest until the problem is fixed.

"It's brought a lot of things to light, a lot things we've known to be true for a long time now. But we want them to know that we're taking some giant step, and hopefully some quick steps to remedy all of this," said Ainsworth.

When confronted by police, Hutson claimed they were part of a fugitive recovery task force. Police say that claim turned out to be untrue.

An arrest report says Hutson later stated that he was on school property because his girlfriend's granddaughter was involved in drug activity and he was doing a walkthrough to see what she looked like.

Both suspects are charged with carrying a firearm or dangerous weapon by a student or nonstudent on school property, unlawful disruption of the operation of a public school, and criminal trespass. The criminal trespass charge is a misdemeanor. The other charges are felonies.

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