A former University of Arkansas at Fort Smith student faces a December trial date for carrying a gun on campus if he and his attorney can’t reach a deal with prosecutors.
Brett Ward, 23, of Greenwood is charged with carrying a gun on school property, a Class D felony punishable by up to six years in prison. His trial is scheduled for the week of Dec. 16.
University police arrested Ward on Jan. 23. Police spoke with Ward about a complaint filed by another student who claimed they saw a student in their Humanities class wearing a 9mm pistol on his hip, according to a university police incident report.
When an officer pulled Ward from class and asked if he carried a gun on campus Jan. 18, Ward said he did because he was scared as a result of school shootings around the country, according to the report. Ward told officers he had a 9mm Glock in his vest pocket at his desk.
A Glock 19 with 15 rounds in the clip was confiscated from the vest and Ward told an officer he knew it was illegal to carry a gun on campus, before he became upset saying he didn’t want to get kicked out of school, according to the report.
In a letter to prosecutors seeking leniency for his client, attorney Jered Medlock said Ward was permanently expelled from UAFS and agrees with that decision, has received counseling, did well during a short time in the military and in school until this incident, has genuine remorse, is working full time and recently became a father.
Ward is free on a $2,500 bond pending trial.