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Boy ruled competent to stand trial in Roswell school shooting

ROSWELL — Mason Campbell, the 12-year-old Roswell boy charged with shooting two fellow students at Berrendo Middle School on Jan. 14 has been ruled competent to stand trial in the case.

Campbell is accused of entering the crowded school gymnasium with a duffel bag that contained a 20-gauge pump shotgun with a sawed-off stock and firing randomly, injuring 13-year-old Kendal Sanders and 12-year-old Nathaniel Tavarez.

Campbell has been charged with three counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and carrying a firearm into a school. Campbell, through his attorney Friday, denied the charges, the equivalent of entering a not-guilty plea in adult court.

Because of security concerns at the Chaves County juvenile detention center, Campbell will be transferred to a juvenile facilty in Albuquerque.

His defense attorneys, Robert Gorence and Jason Bowles, told District Court Judge Freddie Romero that they expected to reach some kind of agreement with prosecutors to resolve the case before trial. Romero ruled that prosecutors would have 90 days to bring the case to trial, should it be required.

Bowles is also Campbell’s uncle.

Tavarez returned home to Roswell last month after weeks of surgeries and therapy at hospitals and rehab centers in Texas. At that time, he had been left blind in one eye and could see only shades of light in the other. He also had injuries to his chest, face and heart.

Sanders was released from the hospital on Jan. 19 after two surgeries to repair damage to her shoulder.

Campell has been held at a Roswell juvenile detention facility undergoing forensic evaluation.

 

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