Dale Warner’s voice grew fainter Friday afternoon as the eighth-grader pleaded not guilty to nine counts of attempted first-degree murder in Gillette.
The 14-year-old boy is accused of bringing two guns and 36 bullets to Sage Valley Junior High School with a plan to shoot nine teachers and students identified as people he wanted to target or who were in the classroom where he intended to shoot them Nov. 13.
He was later disarmed by the school principal and arrested by the Gillette Police Department.
Charged as an adult, Warner repeated “not guilty” nine times in his arraignment as District Court Judge Michael N. “Nick” Deegan asked him to plead to each of the nine counts.
Warner wore a lime-green Juvenile Detention Center outfit and was handcuffed throughout the proceeding, including when Deegan asked Warner to raise his right hand as high as he could to take his oath.
Warner smiled at his parents and family sitting in the front row of the courtroom as he was led into it by bailiffs at about 4:15 p.m. Friday.
It took just 15 minutes for Deegan to explain the charges, make sure Warner understood the charges and to ask for his pleas. Deegan said Jefferson Coombs of the Gillette Public Defender’s Office and Diane M. Lozano, the state public defender representing Warner, and Campbell County Attorney Ron Wirthwein and Deputy County Attorney Nathan Henkes will meet with him later in a pre-trial conference. They’ll schedule his trial at that time.
Deegan also continued Warner’s cash-only bond of $275,000.
After the session ended, bailiffs allowed Warner to give a family member an emotional hug before he was led away.