Montgomery Co. student who police say brought gun to school hopes to post bond

WASHINGTON — An 18-year-old Clarksburg High School student, charged with carrying a loaded handgun and knife to class in Montgomery County, Maryland, last week now has a hearing scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, and his lawyers will argue that he should be given the chance to post bond.

Alwin Chen was arrested at the end of the school day Thursday, a day after a shooting rampage in Florida made national headlines.

One student and the principal at Clarksburg High both said that in their opinions, Chen was not someone you would expect to replicate a violent incident like that. His lawyers emphatically believe the same thing.

“There are no allegations by the police or by the state’s attorney’s office of any intention to harm anyone,” said David Felsen, one of the lawyers representing Chen. “We assume that the police have done a complete investigation. There are none of those allegations in this case.”

“I think he is a scared kid,” Jill Michaels, another lawyer for Chen, said. “Mr. Chen has been extremely cooperative with the police and with every official in the case.”

The high school student is behind bars until his hearing.

“He is 18-years-old. He has never had any contact with anyone in the criminal justice system,” Felsen said. “I think it’s fair to say this honor roll student is frightened. He is a little unsure as to what’s going to happen down the road.”

Neither attorney were willing to discuss details of the case, but Felsen believes there’s a strong argument for allowing Chen out on bond at the conclusion of Tuesday’s hearing.

Felsen said the issue with bond is a “twofold concern” — one, whether or not the defendant will appear in court, which he said is not a question in Chen’s case. But the other concern lies in whether or not the defendant is deemed a threat to the community or himself.

To that, Felsen said, “Again there are no allegations concerning threats or dangerousness. We are hoping that the judge will see that and can fashion reasonable conditions for his release.  There’s no reason that he should be held at this time.”

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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