UPDATE: Hearing Reveals Dark Details On Accused Perry Hall Student Shooter

A hearing to decide whether 15-year-old Robert Gladden would be charged as an adult or juvenile will continue Thursday morning.

UPDATE (Feb. 8, 12:30 p.m.)—Adult charges will stand against the student accused of opening fire inside Perry Hall High School on the first day of school, Baltimore County Circuit Court Judge Robert Cahill, Jr. announced Friday morning. Find details on the closing arguments here. 

Accused Perry Hall Student Shooter To Be Charged As Adult


UPDATE (Jan. 31, 5:30 p.m.)—Find details on the Thursday portion of the hearing, including recordings in which the accused Perry Hall student shooter claims he intended more victims and was not bullied by fellow students, here.


UPDATE (Jan. 31, 2:18 p.m.)—The hearing has been extended to resume on Feb. 8, Baltimore County Circuit Court Judge Robert Cahill, Jr. announced following the hearing's continuation on Thursday. 


UPDATE (Jan. 31, 12 a.m.)—A Wednesday court hearing to determine the state of charges against 15-year-old Robert W. Gladden, Jr. revealed dark details about his childhood years and academic history. 

Gladden is accused of opening fire inside Perry Hall High School's cafeteria on the first day of school and seriously injuring another student. He was charged as an adult with nine counts of first-degree attempted murder, among other charges, in the Aug. 27 incident.

Testimony Wednesday revealed that as a young boy, Gladden was exposed to suicide and death, and exhibited threatening behavior and suicidal thoughts.

Baltimore County Assistant State's Attorney John Cox also cited several examples of Gladden bullying his peers and showing morally insensitive behavior. At one point, Cox played audio of Gladden seemingly making a joke about wishing he had participated in the December shooting inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. 

Lutherville defense attorney George Psoras passionately argued that Gladden should be tried as a juvenile, that his court record should be sealed, and that he should be transported to a high security juvenile treatment facility outside of Maryland until he is 21 years old.

Psoras insisted that Gladden be transported out of state because there are no high security juvenile treatment facilities in Maryland that hold juveniles convicted of violent crimes involving guns.

"This is not Columbine. This is not Newtown. This is a young man who made a horrible mistake," Psoras said.

"Bobby was immature. Bobby was sick. Bobby has mental illness," he said.

"To put him away for life would be a horrible tragedy," he said.

Psoras argued that Gladden will not receive the appropriate treatment, and will be raped and beaten if sent to an adult prison.

Cox and his team attempted to show that Gladden could remain a threat to society and may not be ready to reenter society at 21 years old, and would be better suited for a longer sentence in adult prison.

Case Workers Tell Of Gladden's Troubled Formative Years

During the hearing's first half, between 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., Psoras and Cox questioned two case workers who reviewed and evaluated Gladden.

Danni Davis, a case worker within Baltimore County's department of juvenile services, described in detail some of the disturbing events from Gladden's childhood and teenage years, what she described as "how Bobby got to this point."

In elementary school he was diagnosed with ADHD for impulsive behavior and received help with speech problems. During this time, Gladden's cousin committed suicide on nearby railroad tracks, "which made him wonder if committing suicide would solve problems," Davis said.

When Gladden was 11, his maternal aunt died of carbon monoxide poisoning, which caused him great sadness and suicidal thoughts, Davis said.

Later, after his parents divorced, his uncle became a father figure to him. This same uncle committed suicide by shooting himself in front of his family in 2011, Davis said.

Gladden also showed a history of cutting himself and showed some physical aggression toward his mother, Davis said.

Kimberly Fisher, a second worker within Baltimore County's department of juvenile services, also testified of Gladden's multiple suspensions from school.

An expulsion in sixth grade eventually led to Gladden being moved to an alternative school for troubled youth, Crossroads Center in White Marsh. The school featured a later start-time and a short-term rewards system. Gladden's grades and behavior dramatically improved. He was returned to a mainstream program at Perry Hall High School in ninth grade. 

Problems returned in ninth grade, however. Gladden was disciplined for making gruesome and profane death threats on Facebook to a fellow student who had come out as transsexual. That particular Facebook conversation included a reference that "something bad would happen at Perry Hall High at the end of 12th grade," Fisher said.

A report from Gladden's stay at a county mental treatment facility after the shooting also showed that he would laugh and smile while talking about guns, and showed controlling and abusive behavior toward other patients, Fisher said.

Doctors Discuss Gladden's Potential For Treatment, Recovery

As the hearing continued into the late afternoon, the dialogue shifted from examples of Gladden as a troubled teenage victim to examples of Gladden acting as a bully and morally insensitive individual. 

Cox argued that Gladden suffers from a clinical conduct disorder, which would likely manifest itself in continued violent behavior into adulthood. Due to public safety concerns, Cox argued that Gladden should be tried and eventually convicted as an adult. 

"It's safe to say that anyone who shoots up a school cafeteria has a conduct disorder," Cox said. 

Throughout testimony, Psoras repeatedly disputed that conclusion. 

Two doctors testified during the Wednesday portion of the hearing about Gladden's mental state: Dr. James Smith, who performed a psychological analysis on behalf of Baltimore County, and Dr. Aaron Noonberg, who performed a separate psychological analysis on behalf of the defense. 

Smith interacted with Gladden in the months following the shooting and made his final evaluation before Gladden began a full regimen of anti-depressant drugs. Noonberg, however, first met and evaluated Gladden just days before the hearing, on Jan. 27. 

The two doctors agreed on several points—that Gladden exhibited an average to above average IQ, that he held a disdain for school and lack of motivation, and that he felt life was generally boring and pointless. 

Smith confirmed records showing that while being hospitalized and held in a short-term treatment program, Gladden discussed plans for suicide, picked fist fights, bullied peers and attempted to intimidate facility workers. 

Smith also confirmed that Gladden had admitted to lying to a mental health worker at age 12 in order to avoid treatment for suicidal thoughts.

He also confirmed that Gladden had a history of acting out of societal norms. As a young teen, he attempted to sell oregano as marajuana at school. He also missed dozens of school days between elementary school and high school. 

Based on Gladden's reported behavior before and after the shooting, Smith said he was skeptical that the standard short-term treatment for troubled juveniles would be sufficient for Gladden. 

"It may need to extend past 21," Smith said. 

Noonberg, however, disagreed with Smith's evaluation, and argued that five and a half years of treatment at a secure juvenile detention center outside of Maryland—"where he has no escape"—would likely prepare Gladden for peaceful reentry into society. It would also save him from the possible dangers of adult prison, he said.

Noonberg said that examples of Gladden acting as a bully were not unusual for his age and mental state, and had been overblown by the prosecution. He argued that Gladden was probably not experiencing a mental state as severe as a conduct disorder. 

He also cited dramatic improvements in Gladden's frequency of suicidal thoughts since he began taking the anti-depressant Prozac. 

"My evaluation is favorable to good after five to six years of treatment," Noonberg said. 

As Noonberg had just met Gladden days before the hearing, Cox argued that he did not have enough time or put forth enough effort to properly evaluate Gladden. 

Cox also played an audio recording for Noonberg of Gladden speaking with a cousin on the phone from the detention center where he was being held. 

The call was made on Dec. 16, and Gladden made reference to the Dec. 14 shooting inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut that killed 20 children and six staff members. 

Gladden seemed to make a joke about how he wished he had gone to the school along with the shooter. "I wish I went too," he said in the phone call. Immediately afterward, Gladden's cousin reprimanded him for saying that in a recorded phone call. 

While Noonberg claimed that Gladden had probably only said that to get a rise out of his cousin, Cox argued that it was one of several examples of his propensity toward continued violent behavior. 

Gladden, Audience Await Hearing Result, Anticipate Trial

Gladden appeared at the hearing wearing a blue striped shirt and black pants with shackled ankles. His hair appeared longer than in his original booking photo, taken in August. It was no longer dyed black and appeared naturally brown.

Gladden did not speak during the hearing and rested his arms on the table in front of him.

Several people attending the hearing cried and whispered during testimonies.

At the close of the juvenile waiver hearing, Baltimore County Circuit Court Judge Robert Cahill, Jr. is expected to make a final decision on whether Gladden will continue to be charged as an adult or be tried as a juvenile. If tried as a juvenile, Gladden could face significantly less jail time and media scrutiny, Cox said previously.

The result of the hearing is expected to be announced sometime on Thursday. 

The beginning of Gladden's criminal trial has been scheduled for Feb. 19.

Stay with Patch for updates. 

Follow updates on the Perry Hall student shooting here on our Perry Hall Student Shooting topics page

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Ryan January 31, 2013 at 02:11 PM
Throw him in Max juvie till he is 21 then transfer him to adult prison for the rest of his life..No one like that can be rehabilitated and it is morally , wrong to let him run the streets after 21 as if nothing ever happened.
LAURA GODWIN January 31, 2013 at 03:08 PM
I do know for a FACT, he did NOT go to school intending to shot anyone but HIMSELF. He was in the midst of shootinghimslef wihen teacher jumped on him. That was his only intended shot, the second shot that shot Daniel, was during the struggle..... He wanted to shot himself in front of the one's who made his life hell and tormented him.
FIFA January 31, 2013 at 03:30 PM
Welcome to that very rare club LAURA, those that can read the minds of 15 year old boys.
RW Willy January 31, 2013 at 03:32 PM
So in 9th grade he foreshadowed this event! And the "shrinks" knew about it. So much for the mental kealth industry doing their job. And now I'm supposed to trust their judgement on his capability to deal with issues? Laura; as for his intent! He could have accomplished his desires at home. But his scream for help put everyone in danger. Therefore he is a danger. He coldly plotted out his demise, if you are correct. And he screwed it up. How are we supposed to distinguish between what his intent and what his actions were? Oh thats right. You said it was a FACT.
Aimee January 31, 2013 at 03:37 PM
Just in reading the article, the defense should definitely attempt to review and retrieve any BCPS records (and I'm sure there were a-plenty) in relation to this boy, as well as possible do a little online research on FB & Twitter during this past summer and possibly the school year before. It may offer some sort of explanation for wanting to bring a gun and ammo to school, it wouldn't be surprising if something transpired online before the start of school. He either is a dumb kid, who doesn't think to know that jail phone calls are recorded or that in a mental facility transported there by police your every move is watched and notated OR he is quite smart, looking to make a statement on the first day of school by killing himself in front of everyone, knowing what to say and what not to say to mental health professionals. Here is a definite must for Psora: please convince this kid to cut his hair, I'm sure he thinks he looks good, but nothing is worse than walking into Court looking for the mugshot, giving them what they want. The hair will grow back, he looked a hot mess. Maybe suggest that if tried and convicted as an adult, the inmates will either tie him up with the hair or put barrettes in it, maybe that will encourage him to get a court hair cut. I was taken back by him wanting to be a part of another school shooting, but it was probably to show off on the phone, a sick fascination with school shootings (YES), or acting tough being in jail (WAIT TIL JESSUP)
Tim January 31, 2013 at 03:38 PM
B January 31, 2013 at 04:01 PM
My question is what are the statistics on kids of this nature being treated and going on to live "normal" lives? What is the time span in which they are released and deemed "cured"?
Mel January 31, 2013 at 06:31 PM
Thanks for sharing that info Sue. How can anyone say anything until they have walked a mile in someone else's shoes. Some people do "endure tragedies" in their life and have better coping mechanisms. Sounds like Bobby has been through a lot and needs the proper help to heal. Yes, what he did was wrong and could have turned out a lot worse, but we don't let kids drive until their 16, not considered a legal adult or can vote until 18. Your not allowed to drink until your 21. How can you charge a child who just turned 15 and has no criminal background as an adult? He needs help not to be beaten and raped by serious offenders.
Mel January 31, 2013 at 06:41 PM
Laura, I would be interested in knowing your source and did you give this information to his attorney. I've seen a lot of posts online with people saying that Bobby was bullied terribly. But the police are sure bullying wasn't a factor. The scars of being bullied run deep. Has his attorney contacted any of these people who witnessed Bobby being bullied?
Rick January 31, 2013 at 07:04 PM
ok so john cox is retarded i heard the phone convo about sandy hook bobby never said he wishes he had participated in the shooting he simply said i wish i went to sandy hook either indicating that he wishes he wud have been a victim so he cud die like he wants or just making a sick joke. john cox is a no gud splineless pussy who is just just plain awful how can u sleep wen ur trying to put a 15 year old in adult prison YOUR the one who is mentally ill ur worthless
Emily Kimball (Editor) January 31, 2013 at 07:20 PM
UPDATE (Jan. 31, 2:18 p.m.)—The hearing has been extended to resume on Feb. 8, Baltimore County Circuit Court Judge Robert Cahill, Jr. announced following the hearing's continuation on Thursday.
Aimee January 31, 2013 at 07:31 PM
Now they just released how on a recorded visit with his family, he admitted to bullying others. My opinion....a kid thinking that this behavior impresses others, and probably exercises this behavior for some kind of attention. Whether he got encouragement and attention at home, we do not know, some teenagers become withdrawn. Also, to the poster that touched on the fact that he was intending to kill himself in front of the cafeteria, if there is any sort of proof to this, bring it to light. Also, it was testimony from the shrink at the jail that he was responding to Prozac that he has been taking, so this kind of proves that he can respond from treatment and medication. And thank you...Emily Kimball for giving us all the blow by blow.
Andrew January 31, 2013 at 07:46 PM
Anyone that really trusts he will become a safe productive member of society, please show up at the court and volunteer your family, friends, and house for him to come to instead of prison.... If you wouldn't invite him to babysit your kids? Live under your roof, go to school with your kids? Then stop saying he should be free... Even with 10 years of treatment??? If you feel he wasn't 100% aware that shooting someone wasn't OK! Take time Interview 1000 teenagers they all should be crazy! Everyone has crazy lives... But not everyone is evil and they manage to not shoot people??? A human being in MD is "criminally responsible" for choices at age 7.... He was 15???? Again show up at the court house and become his guardian, promise the court you will care for him and you trust your family's lives with him even after treatment or open your eyes and be realistic... He is a homicidal maniac that unfortunately should live in a cage the rest of his life. And prisons do offer solitary confinement to protect people from beatings and rape.... This isn't 1950... Crime=punishment.... Done
Mel January 31, 2013 at 08:36 PM
Where did you hear the phone call? Was it online? Thanks for info.
Mel January 31, 2013 at 08:40 PM
I know a kid who is definately "bullied" but if you ask him, he'll tell you that he is friends with everyone even the popular kids. Either he is in denial or too messed up to realize he isn't apart of the popular crowd at school. He is from a messed up family who gives him no support/attention and he also talks very violent and tough. I think a lot of these kids don't want to admit their situation.
Mel January 31, 2013 at 08:44 PM
Criminally responsible for choices at age 7? Seriously? Get a grip, no 7 year old is mature enough to make good judgement calls. Not everyone has crazy lives, not as crazy as some.
KTJ January 31, 2013 at 08:44 PM
FIFA, Laura's comments were reported when the shooting occurred and have been confirmed by witnesses. He did intentionally take a gun to school but not with the intention of hurting anyone but himself. Without knowing all the facts of this case or being personally involved with the ins and outs of the people who lived and are still living through this tragedy there is a lot of judgement. Live your own life to the fullest and let the professionals who have all the facts decide what is best for this child. Daniels family and community have given people the opportunity to support them by holding blood drives etc.. If you feel that passionately about mental health issues, bullying, and gun control make your voice heard by the people that can make the changes that need to made to protect your children and family from these horrible tradgidies that have become all to common in today's world.
Chris Hutchinson January 31, 2013 at 09:26 PM
This kid should be put away forever. As a graduate of PHHS this makes me sick, and to listen to ppl defend him is even sicker .. had the guidance counselor not stopped him he would have taken many more innocent lives, lives of students just trying to get their education . He deserves to be w rapist every moment of his life . What if your child was on the recieving end of that gun that day, then what? Less ppl would feel sorrow for him im sure. I cant offer my condolences to him after what he has done, he simply is not deserving of that imo.
Shaka Zulu February 01, 2013 at 05:21 PM
do it the "green way" use the guillotine on him, we do not need him anymore, he had his chance and ruined it, take his eyes if they help someone see, take his liver if someone need a transplant, take his kidneys etc...then throw his body in the bay to feed the crabs.
Shanna February 04, 2013 at 01:27 PM
It seems like this boy's family has a history of mental illness. And I know what it is like to deal with this because my late husband's family has a long history of mental illness as well. My husband had mental illness and 2 out of 4 of my kids have been diagnosed as bi-polar. And I know how important treatment is and how much it can improve them...... I just don't know how much it can help once they are so far gone. This boy, in his mind, thinks it was ok to shoot people and kill them. And I don't know if I would ever trust him out on the streets again, even with treatment. He not only thought out his plan, he went through with it, and that is scary. What would make him not do it again? Its a very fine line. And if people with mental illness want to do something they will figure out a way to do it and all the doctors in the world won't know what is going through their heads. They have mental illness, they are not dumb people. In fact, my husband and my oldest daughter are 2 of the smartest people that I have ever known. And they know what they can say to their doctors and what not to say. Fine line.....very fine line.
paerki February 04, 2013 at 02:22 PM
...it would have been cut under any administration. There's no money!
paerki February 04, 2013 at 02:27 PM
A sad story. He'll be a burden on society. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1242460/
Emily Kimball (Editor) February 04, 2013 at 02:52 PM
UPDATE (Jan. 31, 5:30 p.m.)—Find details on the Thursday portion of the hearing, including recordings in which the accused Perry Hall student shooter claims he intended more victims and was not bullied by fellow students: Recordings: Accused Perry Hall Shooter Says He Intended More Victims, Was Not Bullied - http://patch.com/A-16vw
Truthful February 04, 2013 at 04:46 PM
The greatest wmd is the school system that promotes drugging every single kid with some phony "mental" illness. The most dangerous wmd's are all the drugs that these kids are forced to take. The most dangerous wmd's are the doctors that diagnose these kids with phony "mental" illness! Doesn't it concern you libs that the most common factor in all these shootings involving kids is them being poisoned with ritalin, concerta, adderall......?
1ke February 04, 2013 at 05:03 PM
Does it bother you neocons that schooling has been shaped into a one-size-fits-all institution by your accountability mechanisms and the stingy allocation we give--after paying lipservice, of course--to public education. No more taxes.
Ashley February 04, 2013 at 05:24 PM
I really would like to know what all you people who swear he "didn't want to hurt others" and he just "made a mistake" think now that these other tapes have come out with him ADMITTING he wanted to kill as many as possible and then kill himself among other things. Yeah, his defense played you bleeding hearts like a lute.
Sanchez February 04, 2013 at 05:24 PM
Since when do "neocons" run any school systems? Are not most school administrators liberals?
Jackie February 05, 2013 at 12:44 PM
First, let me say that I don't have the answer to this problem or any of the ills of society. What bothered me about the defense's position is that they want to spare him the prison experience because of his age. What makes THIS kid special? We are willing to send many kids to adult prison for equal or lesser crimes, yet we want to give this one a break? It's easy to sympathize when you are not a victim, but if this kid is truly broken, letting him out at 21 might make YOU his next victim.
Emily Kimball (Editor) February 08, 2013 at 07:03 PM
UPDATE (Feb. 8, 12:30 p.m.)—Adult charges will stand against the student accused of opening fire inside Perry Hall High School on the first day of school, Baltimore County Circuit Court Judge Robert Cahill, Jr. announced Friday morning. Find more details in the article: Accused Perry Hall Student Shooter To Be Charged As Adult - http://patch.com/A-1Lkj
Jeanna Beard February 12, 2013 at 07:29 PM
Tony, it's not "political correctness" when it simply needs correcting.


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