Sheriff’s Deputy Who Shot Teacher in School Gets 30 Days in Jail

A Bay County Sheriff’s deputy who has spent two decades on the force, is to spend a month in jail for firing a gun in a high school classroom, One of the bullets hit a teacher.

However, if he doesnt get in anymore trouble, he will avoid having a felony on his record.

Adam J. Brown on Monday May 22th, appeared before Bay County Circuit Judge Harry P. Gill for sentencing. It initially appeared as though Brown would not be sent to prison, as part of the plea deal he accepted in April stipulated he would receive a delayed sentence for one year.

While Gill did delay sentencing Brown until April 23, 2018, he also ordered Brown to serve 30 days in jail. Between his release from jail and the April date, Brown will effectively be on probation. If he complies with all the resultant terms, he’ll be allowed to withdraw his no contest plea of tampering with evidence, a four-year felony, and instead plead to two misdemeanors.

“This is a very difficult case,” Judge Gill said. “There is no question… that you have led an exemplary life. I think you are probably a very fine human being.”

He added that the precipitating incident is two-fold tragedy, both for Brown and for the teacher he wounded, who is continuing to suffer emotional trauma.

“For a guy that has spent his adult life concerned about firearms safety, this was a very adolescent act,” the judge said. “But there are more important aspects of this case. There are two reasons I would surmise that police officers are in school. One is the obvious one of security, and the second one is as a role model. It appears for many, many years you were exemplary as a role model. You made a very poor decision to lie about what happened. You attempted to destroy evidence, or to hide it. What you did was a very human decision, one that many of us might make.

“We never know when faced with the decision to do the right thing or the wrong thing what we will do when faced with that pressure. You were under great pressure, you were frightened, you were embarrassed, in fear of losing your job, your reputation, your career. Many of us being human may not have had the courage to do the right thing, but it was the wrong decision. The court needs to take cognizance that it was the wrong decision.”

Despite his expression of sympathy for Brown, the judge felt a message needed to be sent.

“I feel that because of the circumstances, it’s necessary I impose some incarceration,” he said. I need to show the school community that even good people who make mistakes need to be punished.”

Before the sentence was imposed, defense attorney Christopher Tomasi lauded his client’s 21-year career with the Bay County Sheriff’s Office, most of which was spent as the school resource officer at Bay City Western High School and Middle School in Auburn. In 2012, CrimeStoppers of Bay County named Brown its Police Officer of the Year Award, Tomasi pointed out.

Tuscola County Prosecutor Mark E. Reene, who was appointed by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office to handle the case, said his office has been in contact with teacher Brenda Amthor, who was struck by Brown’s bullet.

“The victim continues to suffer the aftermath of what transpired and probably continues to think about what may have happened,” Reene said, adding it was “mere fortuity” the situation wasn’t worse.

“The defendant has an excellent record of service,” the prosecutor said. “He took one error and compounded it and obviously lives were put at risk by what transpired.

After Gill issued his sentence, Tomasi asked if the judge would hold it in abeyance as Brown is working as a driver’s education instructor in hopes of earning an income to pay the restitution he’ll owe Amthor. Gill declined and ordered Brown taken into custody immediately.

By pleading no contest in April, Brown did not verbally admit to having committed any crimes by pleading no contest. Gill had to rely on police reports to enter convictions on the record.

Those reports state Brown at about 12:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 11, was in the school’s robotics classroom with a teacher. They used a force machine to test the trigger pull on Brown’s personal Springfield EMP 9mm handgun.

After the pair left the room, Brown returned alone and used the machine to test the trigger pull on his .380-caliber Sig Sauer, another personal handgun that he brought into the school that day. The gun was not empty of bullets and the experiment caused the gun to fire a round through two pieces of drywall. The projectile entered a classroom containing about 30 students, traveled toward the ceiling, scraped a tile, proceeded to hit a cement wall, ricocheted off it, careened across the room, and struck Amthor in the neck.

Amthor was sitting at her desk when struck by the bullet. She was uninjured apart from a small scratch, police reports state.

Though Brown was engaged in conversations with school staff on the projectile’s origin, he did not admit to having fired a gun, reports indicate. As a result, the school was placed in secure mode while administrators attempted to discern what had happened.

School staff gave Brown the bullet to hold, but he then tossed it in a grassy area covered by leaves, according to police reports. A K-9 Unit recovered the bullet and Brown confessed that he attempted to destroy the evidence, according to police reports.

Brown was charged on Dec. 29.

As a deputy led Brown from the courtroom, Judge Gill offered him more encouragement.

“Good luck to you, sir,” he said. “I take no pleasure in this