The attorney and family members of a boy who admitted to shooting a disabled schoolmate sought leniency on his part during a sentencing hearing Monday.
Robert Gladden Jr., 15, pleaded guilty to one count of attempted murder in Baltimore County Circuit Court last week. He is expected to be sentenced Monday afternoon for shooting 17-year-old Daniel Borowy on Aug. 27 in the Perry Hall High School cafeteria.
George Psoras, Robert Gladden's attorney, argued for leniency, describing his client as a child with a mental illness.
"He had the brain and aptitude of [Borowy]," Psoras said.
The attorney also pointed that out his client is sentenced to prison that he would be the youngest inmate currently in the custody of the Department of Corrections.
"[Juveniles are] the ones that are raped, the ones that are killed, that are stabbed," Psoras said.
He also told the judge that there were positives that came out of the tragedy, such as the attention brought to the community and Daniel's correspondence with celebrities and elected officials.
"Where were all the little girls with t-shirts prior to this event?" Psoras asked.
Rosemary Borowy, Daniel's mother, told the court that no one could understand what its like to have a child go through what Danny has endured.
"I am afraid everyday, and everyday I call the school and make sure Daniel is OK," Rosemary Borowy said.
Bonnie Gladden, Robert's mother, said she felt like she was "physically stabbed" when she found out her son was responsible for the shooting. She also said that her son has been vilified by the news media.
"I know Bobby wants to change," Rosemary Borowy said. "I offer none of this as an excuse. ... It's inexcusable."
Other members of Robert Gladden's family testified, mostly apologizing for his actions and telling the court they know it's not an excuse, but that they were unaware of how much he was suffering.
Justin Fitch, an uncle and Baltimore County police detective, said Robert Gladden isn't the only one to blame for his actions. He said an abusive father, parents' use of drugs in his presence and exposure to domestic abuse has all played a role in his nephew's behavior.
"[These are] inappropriate things a child his age should never see," Fitch said.
Robert Gladden, the boy's father, concurred with what Fitch told the court.
"I definitely agree with [Fitch] when he said I 'failed my son,'" Robert Gladden said. "He has been extremely unlucky."
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