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Failed drug test keeps Maumelle student in jail, police say

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was published April 9, 2014 at 10:02 a.m.


James Z. Austin

Maumelle High School lockdown

A student is accused of taking a handgun to Maumelle High School on Tuesday. Maumelle Police said the gun was found on a bookshelf in a classroom. (By Lisa Burnett)
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A student suspected of taking a gun to Maumelle High School on Tuesday failed a drug test after his arrest, sending him to jail for 30 days, authorities said.

James Z. Austin, 18, was arrested on a charge of carrying a weapon on a campus, a Class D felony, after authorities responded, locked down the school for nearly two hours and recovered the weapon in a classroom.

Austin was on probation for a conviction in a 2013 drug case, Maumelle Police Department Capt. James Hansard said. A urine test Tuesday revealed marijuana in Austin's system, Hansard said, and that violated the terms of his probation and resulted in a 30-day term in the Pulaski County jail.

Austin's bail in the gun charge was set at $40,000, but he can't be released on bond on that charge until after the 30-day sentence is served.

Hansard said Austin pleaded no contest to a drug-related charge after a July 18, 2013, arrest at Lake Willastein Park in Maumelle when police found him "smoking marijuana in a car."

The investigation into the gun at school was mostly complete Wednesday, Hansard said, noting that interviews with multiple students revealed Austin never made any threats before taking in the gun.

"We have no reason to believe he actually intended to use it as a weapon at the school," Hansard said Wednesday. "He allegedly was showing off this gun to anybody that would look at it. And several students came and reported it ... It's all speculation at this point. But that's what it appears to be — just somebody using extremely bad judgment and bringing a gun to school to show off."

The gun, which was found on a bookshelf in a classroom where Austin was arrested, was not loaded at the time, but Hansard said police later recovered the magazine. He declined to say where that was found.


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AmericasDoomed says... April 9, 2014 at 10:38 a.m.

Wow. What a surprise.

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NOTAGAIN says... April 9, 2014 at 11:52 a.m.

Gangsta want-a-be. Now that the system has him, it's an opportunity to teach him a lesson. If not, he will only work the system. Send the msg to these idiots, here is your chance Arkansas Courts.

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RegEn4cer says... April 9, 2014 at 12:11 p.m.

I would say that his poor judgement began with his marijuana smoking and continued with bringing the gun to school. His judgement probably won't improve given that he is already an adult.

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Packman says... April 9, 2014 at 1:23 p.m.

@Pobucker - Spot on, my friend, you are spot on.

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Got2Kids says... April 9, 2014 at 2:07 p.m.

I would truly like to hear Populist's spin on this. I yet fail to understand why we should continue to throw good money after bad, when the already "free" education (i.e. - taxpayers like you and I foot the bill for) is not taken advantage of. I don't have time to google everything to provide "confirmed" sources, but I would suspect that most of the criminals around this age don't have a high average for class attendance. Until the parent/parents make their kid take full advantage of the "free" education, then I cannot see how this would help the criminal episodes. Also, Populist, please don't start with how improving it would help others that aren't criminals. Your answer to every problem is to throw more money into the education system, and never take away these "free" benefits to the parent. I do not and will not subscribe to the nanny state, while libs, at their core, believe taking money from the hardworking and sacrificing people of this nation to give away to the "less" fortunate is the answer to everything from global warming to stopping people from speeding. Ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous.

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Garycmillerlawgmailcom says... April 9, 2014 at 2:13 p.m.

Another young genius

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Populist says... April 9, 2014 at 2:32 p.m.


On another post, I am being criticized for conservatism. Oh, well. In this case, the young man should do a year of jail time for bringing a gun to school. The first thing Social Services should do is inquire as to how he got the gun and check to see if there are younger kids in the household who have access to guns. I would like to see more articles in the ADG about parents being arrested for child neglect or abuse. We also need more beds in group homes for places for kids who are not receiving adequate care at home.

Many of the educational reforms I support don't cost that much money. Bad teachers need to be fired. The curriculum needs to be improved. Yes, I support more summer enrichment programs and tutoring. I also support these programs aimed at the 9 to 15 year olds over programs for small children. If the City of Little Rock could reach kids and get them involved in wholesome activities before they would get in trouble, the law enforcement costs for the troubles caused by the 16 and up crowd would decrease considerably. Also, it is a much better investment in the community to educated children who turn into productive taxpayers then to try to support the unskilled and criminals for their lives. The richest counties in America have the highest levels of education. When you have fabulous schools, the kids coming out of them go to college and get jobs. The kids who attend these schools tend to do well regardless of their socioeconomic background. It is not uncommon for the kids of laborers to go to good colleges when they attend great schools. Any improvements in the Little Rock schools would benefit the community. Also, there is nothing that will make the value of your home increase more than for the neighborhood schools to be good.

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Packman says... April 9, 2014 at 4:30 p.m.

@Populist - Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. You keep treating the symptoms and not the cause. Doing time in jail..., how did he get the gun..., younger kids at home..., arresting parents for child neglect..., more group homes for abused kids... it all deals with after-the-fact remedies. And your educational reforms are basically worthless when a kid lacks parenting that encourages educational attainment. Your Nanny State solution has been tried for decades and it simply does not work. The fix is to vote for conservative politicians who will reverse the cycle of government dependence and the entitlement mentality embodied by the "baby momma" culture. Failed liberal social policies have gotten us into this mess and it will take strong conservative leadership that discentivizes unwed motherhood and other poor life choices while providing incentives for good choices. Barack Obama epitomizes those failed liberal social policies and you voted for the man, Pop. Whine all you want, but YOU are part of the problem. After voting for Obama, saying you are in favor or "education" would be like voting for Anthony Weiner and saying you are in favor of shirtless selfies. Your vote for Obama kills your credibility on this issue. And whoever called you a conservative is BADLY mistaken.

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