Crime
12:25 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Appeals Court Hears Arguments on Carneal's Mental State

Michael Carneal now and at age 14.

A federal appeals court panel is considering whether Heath High School gunman Michael Carneal should be allowed to take back his guilty plea and get a trial.

Carneal was 14 in 1997 when he shot and killed three classmates and wounded more. Carneal has schizophrenia and is arguing that he wasn't mentally competent to plead guilty to the shooting at the time.

Carneal’s attorney Tim Arnold says his client's appeal was timely and should be allowed to proceed. The Kentucky Attorney General's Office countered saying Carneal filed the appeal too late and that his conviction and life sentence should stand. The panel now considers the matter but may not issue an opinion for months. If the court rules against Carneal, Arnold says he's not sure whether he will take the case to a higher court.