Questions over Fayette school hit list charges - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Jason Miles

Questions over Fayette school hit list charges

Sandy Tatum's 8th grader is on the principal's list.

"Which is the list I though they were talking about," says Tatum.

But bad behavior, not good grades, led to the list that have her and other parents at West Junior High in Fayette County talking.

It's a hit list, written by two 10 year-olds police say, containing the names of 14 classmates. Tatum says kids do some stupid things.

"It was a stupid thing," says Tatum. "These kids are just, they're kids," she adds.

She believes the charges the two 5th graders now face are too severe. They include conspiracy to commit attempted first-degree murder. Oakland Police charged the kids on the advice of the District Attorney.

"I don't 2nd guess the DA or their office," says Fayette Co. Schools Superintendent Myles Wilson.

But Wilson confirms that a similar case last year was handled differently. A female student at East Junior High made a hit list herself, threatening to kill classmates.

"It was a similar case," says Wilson.

However, she was expelled for 180 days. No criminal charges were filed.

"It was a different DA at the time," says Wilson.

Reached by phone, District Attorney Mike Dunavant told Action News 5 his decision this time was based on the facts of the investigation. He added that a judge and jury will decide if it was the correct decision. He says the parents of the kids on the hit list don't think the charges are too harsh.

"The DA's pretty tough," says Sandy Tatum.

For now, many parents are glad more serious charges did not need to be considered.

Click here to email Jason Miles.

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