Hillsborough Volunteer Coach Fired After Gun Allegation
Posted May 17, 2006 7:35 a.m. EDT
HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. — When the CW Stanford Baseball team boarded the bus for a tournament on April 29, there was a delay.
"It's certainly scary," said school board member Anne D'Annunzio. "It'll make your heart stop for second when you think about it."
A group of student athletes had discovered a gun on the team bus. They immediately told one of the parents also on the trip.
"You wish people would use better judgment, but sometimes there's a lapse in judgment," said D'Annunzio.
A police report said the gun belonged to assistant volunteer coach Michael Ray. He was arrested and charged with felony possession of the gun on school grounds. The school's principal sent a letter to all parents, informing them Ray had been fired.
"He did not have a firearm on campus and he is innocent of that charge," said Ray's defense attorney John Loftin.
Loftin said the gun was actually a plastic pistol that was supposed to stay in his client's duffle bag.
"When he changed clothes to put on his baseball uniform, he just took it out and set it on the bus beside him," he said.
The defense admits Ray does own a firearm similar to the one described by the students, but maintains it was the fake gun found on the bus.
No students were injured because of the incident. The team did attend its game, taking home a victory.