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Fayette mom charged with allowing 14-year-old to have gun stash

Paul Peirce
| Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, 4:21 p.m.
Lenora Ann Hendrix, 45, of Henry Clay Township, Fayette County
Lenora Ann Hendrix, 45, of Henry Clay Township, Fayette County

The mother of the Uniontown Area High School student who allegedly plotted to shoot four classmates at school last month may contest a charge against her of unlawfully permitting him to keep weapons in his bedroom, her attorney said Tuesday.

Lenora Ann Hendrix, 45, of Henry Clay Township was arraigned Tuesday on a charge filed by state police of knowingly and intentionally providing a firearm to a minor and released on $20,000 unsecured bond, according to online court dockets.

Hendrix was accompanied to the arraignment by her attorney, Shane M. Gannon of Connellsville.

Contacted by telephone after the proceeding, Gannon said he and Hendrix are still reviewing the complaint and deciding how to proceed.

He added that it is not unusual for teenagers in Fayette County to grow up handling firearms and to own them.

“I can tell you, Lenora, she's a good mother ... a good person. And this is something she's not used to. She's never been in trouble in her life, not even a traffic ticket,” Gannon said.

“A lot of people, including young people, grow up hunting in Fayette County. Her son had a hunting license and successfully completed a hunter's safety course,” the attorney said.

“It's a way of life in this community — not really anything unusual,” he said.

Hendrix's 14-year-old son was arrested Jan. 25 after a student reported overhearing him talking on a school bus about shooting four students at the high school. He is charged in juvenile court with making terroristic threats, unlawful possession of a firearm and attempting to cause a catastrophe.

The student who heard the threat may have thwarted the youth's plan when he informed his parents, who notified police. Troopers went to the suspect's home to interview him and his mother and obtained a search warrant.

At a Jan. 26 news conference announcing the teen's arrest, Fayette County District Attorney Rich Bower said state police seized a cache of weapons from the boy's bedroom and “were able to avert a catastrophe.”

In the criminal complaint filed against Hendrix, Trooper Wesley Wilson wrote that during an interview she told troopers “she permits her son to store firearms in his bedroom to teach him responsibility and ‘to let him grow up.' ”

Police said they confiscated five firearms from the boy's bedroom: a .22 Magnum Research rifle, a 20-gauge shotgun, a Mossburg .22 rifle, an Ithaca .22 rifle and a Western Auto .22 revolver.

Troopers took two machetes, throwing knives, a crossbow with arrows and bulk ammunition from the room, Bower said.

A preliminary hearing for Hendrix before North Union Township District Judge Nathan Henning is scheduled March 6.

Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2860.

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