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A Joplin teenager has pleaded guilty to firing an assault rifle in his middle school and threatening his principal.

Thomas White , who is now sixteen, was thirteen years-old and in the seventh grade at Memorial Middle School in October 2006 when he took an assault rifle to school and fired it into the ceiling. He then turned the gun on Principal Steve Gilbreth and pulled the trigger, but the gun jammed.

White, who was to be tried as an adult, entered the guilty plea today (06-26-09) to two counts of first-degree assault and one count of armed criminal action.

Earlier this year, a state psychiatrist found White mentally incompetent to assist in his defense, however in May a judge ordered a second evaluation.

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