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Felony Weapon Charge Against Former NMS Teacher Dismissed



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DANBURY - A judge in state Superior Court on Wednesday, June 21, dismissed a felony charge of possession of a weapon on school grounds against a former Newtown Middle School teacher in connection with an April 2016 incident at the school.

In court, the judge dismissed that charge that had been pending against Jason Adams, 47, of Newtown, a court official said. Mr Adams had successfully completed a nine-month pretrial probationary program known as "accelerated rehabilitation," resulting in the charge's dismissal.

Last September, a judge granted the former eighth grade science teacher the special probation in the case that stemmed from Mr Adams' illegal possession of a loaded .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol while in the school.

In the diversionary program, the defendant does not enter a plea, and provided that a probationary period is successfully completed, the charge is dismissed.

The conditions of the probation included that Mr Adams not get into any trouble with the law, that he not possess or own any firearms, that he have no pistol permit, and that he receive counseling, if deemed necessary. The probation is intended for first-time offenders who are considered not likely to offend again.

Attorney John Maxwell, who represents Mr Adams, could not be reached for comment on June 21.

Mr Maxwell has previously explained that Mr Adams' wife, Geri, arrived at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012, shortly after the shooting incident in which a gunman killed 26 people. Ms Adams had gone to the school to make a gingerbread house with the Adamses' 6-year-old son.

Ms Adams saw children running out of the school after the incident, Mr Maxwell said. The Adamses' son was not injured.

In 2014, Ms Adams received some threatening, harassing e-mails from "hoaxers" who challenged what had happened at Sandy Hook School, resulting in Mr Adams renewing his pistol permit.

As a protective measure, Mr Adams then started bringing his pistol to work daily, but made sure to leave it out of sight, locked inside his SUV. On April 6, 2016, Mr Adams entered the school before classes started with his gun inadvertently still within a holster on his belt, after which a school staffer spotted the weapon and reported it, resulting in his arrest by police.

The Sandy Hook School shooting incident greatly heightened local sensitivity about the issue of guns in schools.

The school system has armed personnel authorized to possess firearms in the course of their work, such as the police school resource officer and school security officers, but Mr Adams was not authorized to have a firearm while in the school, resulting in the criminal charge.

After his arrest, Mr Adams was placed on paid administrative leave by school officials. He was then facing an administrative investigation by the school system. Mr Adams had worked for the school system for about a decade and reportedly was a popular teacher.

As a consequence of his arrest, Mr Adams was later forced to resign his position as a school teacher, Mr Maxwell has said, noting that the loss of his teaching job amounted to a stiff penalty.

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