Alwin Chen, 18-year-old Clarksburg High School student, has been charged with carrying a loaded handgun and knife to class in Montgomery County, Maryland. In a hearing scheduled for today, Tuesday, February 20, his lawyers argued that Chen should be given the chance to post bond. The judge denied the lawyers’ request,
Chen was arrested after school on Thursday, February 15, just one day after the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. David Felsen, one of Chen’s lawyers, said “there are no allegations by the police or by the state’s attorney’s office of any intention to harm anyone.”
According to prosecutors, Chen had a physical “list of grievances” against other students on his person at the time of arrest. Later, when investigators later searched his home they said the cache of weapons was located. When detained, Chen told police that he had a gun in his backpack and a knife in his shirt pocket.
Chen remained behind bars until his hearing.
“I think he is a scared kid,” Jill Michaels, another lawyer for Chen, said. “Mr. Chen has been extremely cooperative with the police and with every official in the case. He is 18-years-old. He has never had any contact with anyone in the criminal justice system,” Felsen said. “I think it’s fair to say this honor roll student is frightened. He is a little unsure as to what’s going to happen down the road.”
Neither attorney were willing to discuss details of the case, but Felsen believes there’s a strong argument for allowing Chen out on bond at the conclusion of Tuesday’s hearing.
Felsen said the issue with bond is a “twofold concern” — one, whether or not the defendant will appear in court, which he said is not a question in Chen’s case. But the other concern lies in whether or not the defendant is deemed a threat to the community or himself.
Chen was denied bond at his hearing on Tuesday, February 20th.