Teen who brought knife to MCC campus could get youth sentencing.

November 5, 2019

Zachary Baugus, left, with attorney Al Swanson Jr.

Teen who brought knife to MCC campus could get youth sentencing.


By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

LUDINGTON — A 17-year-old Amber Township man who brought a knife onto the campus of Mason County Central High School last September faces serving up to 15 days up front of one-year discretionary jail term after pleading guilty to a felony of carrying a concealed weapon in 51st Circuit Court Tuesday, Nov. 5.

Zachary Allen Baugus, of 96 N. Dennis Road, could be sentenced under the terms of the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA). HYTA allows defendants under the age of 24 with no criminal record to withdraw their plea to a felony and plead to a misdemeanor if they abide by the terms of probation. HYTA cases are non-public. So if he is sentenced under HYTA, his sentencing will not be publicly released. Under current Michigan law, a 17-year-old may be charged as an adult for felonies. The state legislature is in the process of changing that law to 18.

Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola said the prosecution does not object to HYTA sentencing for Baugus. Baugus also faced a misdemeanor of possessing a weapon at school, which was dismissed.

He testified that he had a knife with a 5 1/4 inch blade.

“It was a longer knife than normal,” he told Judge Susan K. Sniegowski, describing it as a hunting knife in a case holder. “It was in my bag,” he said.

“You were not carrying the knife for the purposes of hunting were you?” Spaniola asked. “No,” he answered.

According to Cole, deputies were in the vicinity of Mason County Central High School investigating a drug complaint when the arrest occurred off-campus.

MCC Superintendent Jeff Mount said at the time of the arraignment that he could not comment about specific student cases due to privacy laws but said that students who carry concealed weapons or drugs in school will be disciplined according to school policy and state law. However, the MCC Board of Education had scheduled an expulsion hearing for a student during a recent meeting; that hearing had been postponed.

Carrying a concealed weapon is punishable to by up to five years in prison.

Sentencing is set for Dec. 17 at 2:15 p.m.

This story is copyrighted © 2019, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.



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