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Rockwood man charged for carrying weapon into school

| Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, 12:25 a.m.

A Somerset County man who carried a concealed pistol into a Turkeyfoot School District building Dec. 14 — three hours after the Connecticut school massacre that left 26 people dead — was charged Wednesday with a first-degree misdemeanor charge of possessing a weapon on school property.

Charles V. King II, 41, of Kanaul Road, Rockwood, faces a summary complaint of criminal trespass filed by state police in Somerset for entering the building with the gun despite signs near the entrance warning that weapons are not permitted on school property.

County Sheriff John Mankey has sent a notice to King that his permission to carry a concealed weapon will be revoked because of the incident, according to state police.

Police said King arrived at the rural school in Lower Turkeyfoot Township at 12:35 p.m. to pick up a child and a school employee noticed he was carrying a pistol despite the prohibited-weapons signs.

Police said their investigation showed King did not “have general access to areas other than the office and he did not threaten to commit any criminal acts or cause alarm.”

Police said in a news release that the complaints were filed after troopers consulted with District Attorney Lisa Lazzari-Strasiser.

The complaints were filed before Somerset County District Judge Kenneth Johnson. The charges were sent via mailed summons, according to court documents.

King can request a hearing on each complaint and appeal the revocation of his concealed weapon permit.

A person convicted of a first-degree misdemeanor who has no prior criminal record can receive a standard sentence of probation or up to three months in jail, plus a fine, according to state sentencing guidelines.

The potential maximum penalty for conviction of a first-degree misdemeanor is a fine between $10,000 and $15,000, imprisonment not exceeding five years, or both. A maximum penalty for a summary offense is a fine of $200 or imprisonment not exceeding 90 days.

Attempts to reach King for comment Wednesday were unsuccessful.

Paul Peirce is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-850-2860 or ppeirce@tribweb.com.

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