On Tuesday, Alwin Chen, the 18-year-old Germantown student who carried a loaded handgun to Clarksburg High School in February was sentenced after Montgomery County Circuit Judge John Maloney approved a plea agreement.
The judge sentenced Chen to a three-year prison sentence, with all but four months suspended — which, with time served, means he will be released near the end of May. The Clarksburg High School honor student has been jailed since Feb. 15.
At the time of the sentencing Chen had already served 69 days in jail. He was sent to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility in Boyds, after his arrest in mid-February and has been held there ever since. Chen was charged with possession of a handgun, possession of a firearm by a person under 21-years-old and possession of a firearm on school property.
The gun was a homemade, so called "Ghost Gun," a kit which can be ordered online legally by anyone over the age of 21 and assembled at home. The gun was fashioned to look like a Glock 19, but the brand stamped on the gun was P80.
The P80, or Polymer 80, kit comes with the bottom portion of the gun and a jig to help complete the weapon. A barrel, and slide and trigger mechanisms are be acquired separately.
According to media reports, Judge Maloney told an emotional Chen “Your life is not going to be ruined by this, and you could be home by Mother’s Day,” which is Sunday, May 13.
Maloney also sentenced Chen to five years of supervised probation and 300 hours of community service. The judge also told him he could never again own a gun, and ordered his father to get rid of a small arsenal of weapons in his home before his son returns.
At Chen’s Bond Hearing, prosecutors told the court that a search of Chen’s home on Gunners Drive in Germantown turned up more firearms including an AR-15 type rifle, and ammunition.
Chen will not return to Clarksburg High School, but is expected to graduate from Montgomery County Public Schools.
According to media reports, both of Chen’s parents broke down while asking Judge Maloney to be fair to their son. Chen reportedly told the court, “What I did was stupid. I didn’t mean to hurt anybody.”
Before being sentenced, Chen’s defense attorneys described him as a good and responsible boy and he made a stupid mistake.
“I want to be productive in life,” Chen reportedly told the judge. “I don't want to be back here again.”
Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office spokesperson Ramon Korionoff told the media after the sentencing, “This is a just sentence, and one commensurate with the crime. It a balances being fair to the defendant and securing the safety of the community.”
Top: Alwin Chen
Next: The homemade Glock 19 handgun that police recovered from Alwin Chen at Clarksburg High School on February 15.
Next: Clarksburg High School. Photo by Germantown Pulse.
Two two photos courtesy MCPD.