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Perry Hall Shooter Sentenced To 35 Years

Robert Gladden, 15, shot a classmate at Perry Hall High School in August.

(Update 4:34 p.m.)—Perry Hall High School shooter Robert Gladden Jr., 15, was sentenced to 35 years in prison Monday.

Gladden was given a life sentence with all but 35 years suspended on an attempted first-degree murder charge, and 20 years to run concurrently for the use of a firearm during a violent act. He had pleaded guilty to the charges on Feb. 19

The other 27 counts against the teenager were dropped.

Baltimore County Circuit Court Judge Robert Cahill Jr. questioned the sincerity of Gladden's proclaimed remorse ahead of the sentencing, citing that the teenager made disturbing remarks in previous telephone recordings.

"Frankly, I don't know if I find those expressions of remorse to be credible," Cahill said.

The judge also criticized Gladden's defense attorney George Psoras for excessively blaming the school system and overstating the impact of bullying.

"This conduct was not a consequence of him being bullied," he said.

Cahill also called Psoras' assertion that Daniel Borowy, a special needs student who was seriously injured following the Aug. 27 attack, benefited from the attack "borderline offensive." Borowy had received correspondences from his music idol Lady Gaga and First Lady Michelle Obama among other notable figures, as well as an outpouring of community support.

The judge said he also heard no testimony that connected Gladden's diagnoses of attention deficit disorder, hyperactivity and depression with the shooting incident.

"The link between those things have not been established," he said.

Cahill was also moved by the testimony of Kathleen Watkins, a Perry Hall administrator who was monitoring the cafeteria where the shooting occurred. Testimony he said gave insight into the minds of what he called the other victims, Perry Hall staff and students at the scene.

"He was looking at me dead in the eyes...I was looking right down the barrel," Watkins said. "I think I was the next convenient target."

Guidance counselor Jesse Wasmer and other school staff intervened before the attack could continue, she said.

Watkins continued her victim impact statement by explaining the terror the 500 students in the cafeteria faced on that day—a terror she said continues to haunt the school community to this day.

"The impact on our school is just amazing," she said.

In seeking leniency ahead of the sentencing, Psoras repeatedly stated that Gladden is only a child, and asked Cahill not to exceed 30 years in his sentencing with all but 15 suspended.

"That's a lifetime," Psoras said. "Bobby Gladden is 15. That's a lifetime."

Gladden read a letter to the Borowy family expressing his apologies for the attack before Cahill handed down the sentence.

"If I didn't tell you, you might believe what the media is saying about me being a cold-hearted monster," he said.

Stay with Patch for updates.


Local Editor Adam Bednar contributed to this report.

John February 26, 2013 at 01:58 PM
I have said this before, If an underage person charged with anything, they are not allowed to give his or her name.It should say ,son or daughter of Mr & Mrs............. This will put some heat on the parents of these kids.
Aimee February 26, 2013 at 03:14 PM
If you look at the interrogation videos on WJZ, he seemed upset that nobody was killed. He talked about wanting to kill himself, but never why. His upbringing (which nobody really knows alot about) left him hating people (as he stated). This was a case tried in the media, they sought to quickly try him and put him away. The comments made by his attorney about the victim just made matters worse for him. Find another attorney and appeal or modify, maybe it will be put in front of a different judge. Gladden will spend a few years at Patuxent and once of age he will go into the prison system. I feel sorry for all involved in this tragedy.
kara schaffer February 26, 2013 at 03:31 PM
This is so sad! I feel so bad for this kid! Hope he can appeal and be judged by a different judge! The only 'cold hearted' person here is this judge!
CP February 26, 2013 at 04:50 PM
What? At 16 i knew what was right and what was wrong. So did this kid.
Ashley February 26, 2013 at 04:56 PM
Are you freaking kidding me? Have you followed this case at all? You're really saying that the kid that took a shotgun to school and attempted to murder as many of his classmates as he could is not "cold hearted"? The same kid that expressed an admiration for Hitler and made jokes about Sandy Hook? I think you need to get yourself checked because you've obviously got some issues yourself if you feel that way.
Lorna D. Rudnikas February 26, 2013 at 04:59 PM
Is it possible that this "child" was beyond help? Is it possible that excuses were made for the little darling most of his life? Is it possible that he actually enjoyed frightening other kids most of his life (as he actually stated)? Is it possible that the little darling is unfixable and is on his way to place that he actually looks forward to because he thinks his mature toughness is a better fit. Wow! Is he in for a big surprise. He doesn't actually have a clue about what real bullying is all about. And finally, would some folks feel better about him going to prison if he had actually KILLED his intended victim??? And even then there would be moaning and groaning about his age. If you don't know right from wrong or don't actually give a fuzzy rat's but about right or wrong when you are 15, especially to the extent that this darling was involved...don't see much future for change there.
Jen February 26, 2013 at 06:39 PM
Exactly, and although it may be cheaper to put him in Harvard. It is safer for all of us to lock him up. We have been give no indication that he has remorse or would not try something like this again.
Jen February 26, 2013 at 06:40 PM
No hospital because he is not psychotic! He is bad. Bad people go to jail. He will be segregation for at least 3 years.
Jen February 26, 2013 at 07:12 PM
What he was sentenced to and what he will serve are two different things. I believe Md is a 80% state. So what he serves could be much different than his sentence.
Jen February 26, 2013 at 07:14 PM
EXACTLY!
Sam February 26, 2013 at 07:22 PM
Gladden has specifically stated that he was not bullied. We can't play the bully card for every school shooting.
Sam February 26, 2013 at 07:30 PM
You feel bad for him!?!? What about the boy he shot? I'm literally shocked by your opinion on this matter.
Timmy February 26, 2013 at 08:02 PM
I am so sick of feeling sorry for people who had it rough and shoot up innocent people. There are plenty of people who have it way worse than this kid. Stop caring so much for criminals and start caring for those who are vicitims of their sick crimes
Sean Tully February 26, 2013 at 09:05 PM
No, CWA, I didn't say he made "a mistake" (as in a wrong turn). I said he made "the mistake" of not shooting someone in an East Baltimore school in a drug free zone.
BobBaft February 26, 2013 at 09:25 PM
We need this judge to hear some of the trials in Baltimore CIty. Maybe clean the filth up....
BobBaft February 26, 2013 at 09:26 PM
Free peaches?
BobBaft February 26, 2013 at 09:27 PM
"I hope this sends a clear and strong message to any other lunatics who try this premeditated, planned terror at any place, public or private".....It won't. Keep the death penalty....that'll maybe help curb it, but not eliminate it.
BobBaft February 26, 2013 at 09:29 PM
He better pump up before he gets pumped up....the butt!
connie February 26, 2013 at 10:29 PM
He deserves what he got. Like most of you have said he's old enough to know right from wrong my 12 year old knows right from Dont feel sorry for him he didnt feel sorry for the kid he tryed to kill.
Lorna D. Rudnikas February 27, 2013 at 01:44 AM
When reviewing these type cases, one wonders how Charles Manson started out and how much he actually got away with throughout his sleazy life.
Lorna D. Rudnikas February 27, 2013 at 01:54 AM
Then again, let us look at the families that do everything under God's sun to teach, guide, protect, love and prepare their child for life in the real world and even then, even then (rich, poor or whatever) their little darling sticks it to them and the world around them. including psychiatric help when money permits. Can we face the fact that some little darlings simply want to play the game their way...no matter the consequences...no matter who they hurt...then what as everybody looks to see what went wrong..what could have been done for the precious that was somehow over looked and then the wringing of hands begins. Yikes!!! Perhaps if they had admitted to one of "scared straight" programs...but who knows, he might have scared the inmates and may very well do so now.
Renee February 27, 2013 at 05:11 AM
There are plenty of murderers out on the streets! They did not spend life in jail. There are even some who have committed murder more than once out on the streets!
Lorna D. Rudnikas February 27, 2013 at 05:18 AM
I am surprised Sean Tulley that you would make a sarcastic reference to where Mr. Gladden chose to do his dirty deed. In other words your message is, if at less than 18 you want to take a gun to school, shoot someone and not get many, many years in prison, but be charged as a child instead, be sure to do so at............school in .......community. Wow! You really do surprise me!
Penelope Patch February 27, 2013 at 05:56 AM
Renee, I agree with you. I think we as parents need to really think about how we are raising our children. My earlier posts were not about coddling this child and feeling sorry for him because he is 15. My bigger point for the other readers is we as a society better wake up because there are many more kids just like Bobby who have been socialized for violence. It's a frightening thing that you have to be worried about going into a movie theater, church, or school for fear of being shot. This child needs to be put in a secure place where he won't ever harm anyone else. I heart goes out to the victim who was shot. My hope is that Bobby will get the help he needs. In the meantime, I wish that our communities and schools would once and for all, seriously begin to work together to address the issue of violence, instead of coming up with simplistic answers.
Timmy February 27, 2013 at 01:11 PM
"This is all because of bullying. It's not fair he's spending his whole life in jail because of people bullying him." @Evets Bullying is not an excuse to injure and almost kill a innocent person. Gator's post sounds as if he feels sorry for the kid. i didnt think i needed to explain myself. Gator is painting Gladden as a vicitm. He brought in a shotgun and shot an innocent person, dont care what the reason is. I am just glad there is a judge to stand up for the public.
Renee February 27, 2013 at 03:36 PM
I believe you are naive to think that Maryland abides by this! Read the whole article and see how this man only served 10 years of a 20 year sentence for murder and killed again once he got out!! http://parkville.patch.com/articles/man-sentenced-to-55-years-in-parkville-high-students-slaying
Kristi H February 28, 2013 at 09:11 PM
He deserves what he got and then some. At 15, he would only grow up and do more harm to society. I am so tired of the "bully card" and he "needs help" he was "bullied" his parents "failed him". It is all BS. He knew damn well what he was doing. The entire school is lucky that no one was killed. And poor Daniel, my heart still aches for this boy and his family. I hope he serves his full sentence.
Nosyneighbor March 01, 2013 at 04:49 AM
You are both partially correct. Check the Maryland Judiciary website. According to that website, he was convicted in two separate cases - one case was a conviction for First Degree Murder and a handgun violation and the second case was Attempted Armed Robbery. Just because the patch and the sun wrote incorrect/incomplete information doesn't make it true. Oh, and he was sentenced to twenty years, ten suspended on the First Degree Murder; five years for the handgun; and twenty years, ten suspended and three years probation on the Attempted Armed Robbery.
Allison March 05, 2013 at 10:01 AM
Even if he was bullied, which, from what I understand, is NOT the case, how is that an excuse or even a valid reason for his action? If he had punched a kid in the face and broke their nose, then I could see people saying he was pushed to his limit. He wasn't provoked, this was planned, and he even had plenty of time to rethink his actions. As sad as it is, he wanted to kill, and it didn't matter who. If he was bullied, he would have had a target, not the back of a kid he probably didn't even know.
Allison May 18, 2013 at 08:56 AM
I see people saying how frightening it will be when Robert Gladden is brought back to society in 35 years...has it downed on anyone that that day will probably never come? He is arrogant, like most his age; he will dive into the prison world thinking he will be safe because he's a kid. He's wrong. He will be attacked, harmed, and other things that aren't quite appropriate to mention. I don't have pity for this person, but I feel sad all the same. We all wish this could have been avoided...he is a child, after all. But the fact is that he made this choice, no matter who the media, or anyone else, wants to point the finger at. He's a ghost already, and I'm sure if he somehow survives 35 years locked up with the real monsters, I doubt he'll be capable of any harm.

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