A district court judge on Thursday closed a detention hearing and all further proceedings in Scott County Juvenile Court and sealed the juvenile court file for 13-year-old Luke Andrews.
Judge Mark Fowler’s ruling comes one day after a Scott County jury convicted Andrews as a youthful offender in adult court of carrying weapons on school grounds, a Class D felony, assault while using or displaying a dangerous weapon and assault with intent to commit serious injury, both aggravated misdemeanors.
The jury did not convict him of the more serious charge of attempted murder, a forcible felony.
A youthful offender is tried in adult court and, if convicted, is transferred back to juvenile court for disposition and remains under the court's supervision until just before they turn 18. The case then goes back to adult court, where a judge could impose a sentence to dismiss the case, among other options.
In Iowa, juvenile court records are sealed and proceedings are closed except in cases involving a forcible felony, such as murder, sexual abuse, first-degree arson and first-degree burglary.
Scott County Attorney Mike Walton said Thursday that because Andrews was not convicted of attempted murder “the law pertaining to juvenile court confidentiality now apply because none of the charges he was transferred back (to juvenile court) on is a forcible felony.”
During Thursday’s detention hearing, Andrews’ juvenile court attorney, Rebecca Ruggero, made a motion to seal the juvenile court record and “completely excluded” from the hearing and all future hearings, saying “there’s no reason the public needs to be told by the media what’s happening.”
After Fowler granted Ruggero's motion, several members of the media were told to leave the courtroom while the detention hearing continued.
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The adult court file in the case is still accessible to the public.
Ahead of the hearing, a juvenile court officer filed an application to keep him in custody citing the “very serious” charges he was convicted of and wrote that no less restrictive alternative to detention would be adequate.
Andrews has been in custody since Aug. 31.
That’s the day prosecutors say Andrews, then 12, brought a loaded Smith & Wesson .22-caliber pistol into the classroom of North Scott Junior High School seventh-grade social studies teacher Dawn Spring, pointed the gun at her and pulled the trigger.
The gun did not go off, and Spring was able to get Andrews out of her classroom and down to the office of school counselor Holly Leinhauser.
The two women wrestled the gun away from him.
Andrews’ attorneys in his adult court case, Melanie Thwing and Meenakshi Brandt, argued at trial that he did not intend to kill Spring and that he was seeking attention.