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Judge Rules in Case of Seven-Year-Old Accused of Battery

A decision was made in the case of the seven-year-old school boy accused of attacking a classmate, a teacher and a school resource officer. The judge essentially found Johnnie Lee Morris guilty of five counts of battery.

Seven-year-old Johnnie Lee Morris sat quietly on his mother's lap as testimony began, but his second grade teacher told the judge he has another side.

Twynetta Howard, Johnnie's second grade teacher, said, "He was yelling, 'let go of me, let go of me' and that's when he kicked me several times."

Morris was suspended from Jefferson Elementary School in August and formally charged a few weeks ago. He faces a misdemeanor and four felonies for lashing out at his teacher, school resource officer and more as they tried to subdue him after a fight with another classmate.

After Judge Ralph Smith cleared all spectators from the courtroom he swore in the eight-year-old classmate Johnnie is accused of attacking first.

Johnnie's classmate said, "He came over to my desk and jumped up on it and started hitting me, so I hit him back."

After two hours of testimony including word from Johnnie's mother, the judge essentially found the little boy guilty and will decide on a sentence after the holidays.

C. Erica White, Johnnie's lawyer, says, "I'd like to see Johnnie get the help he needs. I don't think the judicial system is the correct place. I think maybe a counselor or therapist or something of that nature is more appropriate."

It's not clear what type of punishment the boy may receive. The Jefferson County school superintendent says a decision on whether to expel Johnnie will be made in December no matter what happens in court.


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