Charge dismissed against teen who had box-cutter at Austintown F - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Charge dismissed against teen who had box-cutter at Austintown Fitch

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It's the day 18-year-old Tyler Sims has been waiting for. His day in court so that he could clear his name. And that's exactly what happened.

Austintown Court Judge David D'Apolito said, "The State is now moving to dismiss the charge.  The defendant did not brandish the box-cutter.  It was for work at McDonald's.  There was no criminal intent."

Sims was charged with one count of carrying a concealed weapon back on February 23rd after a box-cutter fell out of his bookbag at Austintown Fitch High School as school ended for the day.  

Sims said he tried to explain to the teacher that he uses the tool to cut down boxes for his part-time job at McDonald's, but no one wanted to hear it.  

Most schools have a zero-tolerance policy on anything perceived as a weapon.

But on this day, his attorney, Joe Gardner, says the law is clear.

"The law is pretty clear that you either have to have the intent to use the tool as a weapon for it to be a weapon, and he didn't have the intent to do that and the prosecutor somewhat agreed to that.  So the case was dismissed," Attorney Gardner said.

Sims, for the first time, smiled as he left the courtroom. "Feels pretty good.  I'm just glad that everything is over with," he said.

His mother didn't want to appear on-camera, but she had tears in her eyes as she walked out of the courtroom.

Sims' mother thanked 21 News for following her son's case and telling his story, saying she believes it made a difference.  

But she says what hurts is that her son felt he had to change schools because of the grief this court case has caused him.

"Yeah, I changed schools because of everything that was happening out here.  I was looked at different.  It was pretty hard," Tyler said.

But Tyler, who is attending Chaney now, says for the first time he can look towards the future and that includes the Army some day.

"What's next for me?  I'm going to play football this year for my new school and I just want to do great. I don't want no more trouble like this," Tyler said.

Tyler was only asked to pay about $70 in court costs.

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