Sanford teen not guilty of lunchbox weapons charge
Posted May 11, 2011
Updated May 12, 2011
Sanford, N.C. — A high school student who was suspended last year for having a paring knife in her lunchbox has been found not guilty of a misdemeanor weapons charge stemming from the October incident.
Ashley Smithwick, 17, of Sanford, said staff at Southern Lee High School found the knife while searching the belongings of several students for drugs.
She said she mistakenly took her father's lunchbox to school, noting that they have identical lunchboxes and that he often packs a paring knife to slice an apple at work.
A basketball and soccer player who takes college-level courses, Smithwick was charged with misdemeanor possession of a weapon on school grounds and was suspended for the rest of the school year.
She is completing her coursework online through Central Carolina Community College.