A 28-year-old woman was sentenced Thursday to three years in prison for planting a pistol in a child’s backpack and anonymously reporting him to the school.
Heather Hodges, who pleaded guilty to unlawful carrying of a weapon on restricted premises in exchange for the dismissal of two lesser charges, was the live-in girlfriend of the boy’s father but they had struggled as a blended family.
Hodges wanted to teach 13-year-old James Bailey McKeegan a lesson for what she considered to be the mistreatment of her own children, ages seven and four.
So she took her boyfriend’s 9-millimeter Smith and Wesson handgun, replaced the child’s cologne and deodorant in his backpack, and then called Magnolia Junior High School from a nearby payphone to report him by name.
District Court Judge Kelly Case echoed lead prosecutor Vince Santini’s statement that Hodges was “evil,” and said he thought it was ironic how Hodges’ motivation was wanting to protect her children.
McKeegan was eventually taken from school to the Montgomery County’s juvenile detention facility until Hodges confessed days later, after multiple interviews with investigators.