At a scheduled preliminary examination hearing in Ottawa County District Court in Holland on Tuesday, 17-year-old Davian Joseph Weston sat in the courtroom with his head down and did not speak.
His attorney, John Moritz, requested exams be ordered by the court. The exams will determine Weston’s mental competency to undergo court proceedings and what his state of mind was at the time of the alleged incident.
Weston was arrested Sept. 13 by school resource officers at West Ottawa High School after other students told school staff that Weston had a gun. When he was arrested, the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office secured a .38-caliber handgun from Weston that was reported stolen in Wisconsin.
He was charged with being in possession of a stolen firearm and carrying a concealed weapon. He was also charged with being in possession of a weapon in a weapon-free school zone, a misdemeanor. If he is convicted, the teen faces up to 10 years in prison.
Weston was briefly bailed out of Ottawa County Jail after posting $500 in bond Sept. 14, but was rearrested Sept. 18 after he posted a rap song online that included what police considered to be threatening lyrics to one of the students who reported the gun to school staff.
Moritz attempted to get Judge Susan Jonas to reduce Weston’s new bond from $750,000 cash, but Jonas declined. Moritz said he hoped for Weston to be released from jail if he agreed to wear a GPS monitor and be under house arrest without access to any electronic equipment.
“I don’t think there are any changes in circumstances that would convince me to modify the bond that was set,” Jonas said.
Weston’s mother, Stacy Puente, who has spoken out on social media in defense of her son’s actions, sat in the courtroom behind her son. When Jonas denied lowering the bond amount, Puente shook her head and began to cry.
“It just breaks my heart to see him in handcuffs,” Puente said through tears outside the courtroom. “He’s just a kid.”
Moritz said Puente is trying to get her son into a more productive program than jail, but he understood why Jonas would not decrease the bond amount for his client.
“We felt under complete house arrest he would not be a threat to anyone,” the attorney said. “We’re trying to distinguish if (Weston) is competent to proceed, and if he’s criminally responsible, which would go back to the moment in time when it happened.”
Although Moritz did not say if Weston had been diagnosed with any mental health issues, he said there are several reasons he requested the two exams from the court.
“There’s been some history of issues that contributed to my decision to request the exam,” Moritz said.
Going back to school, though, is off the table for Weston.
Once the competency and criminal responsibility exams are complete, Jonas will schedule a hearing to review the results.
Weston is also facing a separate court case for allegedly stealing pepper spray from a Meijer store on Sept. 12. He was charged with third-degree retail fraud on Sept. 14, and bond was set at $5,000 cash surety.