GREENFIELD — A Greenfield teen is serving 10 days in jail after pleading guilty to contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a charge that was filed against him after he and two friends were seen in an online video with a gun on Greenfield-Central High School’s campus.
But prosecutors, as part of the plea agreement, dismissed the criminal count that aimed to hold the teen accountable for having a gun on school property, records show.
Michail “Bailey” Rankin, 19, 250 W. Walnut St., was the owner of the handgun seen in a Snapchat video that put Greenfield-Central High School on lockdown in January.
The video showed a 17-year-old student seated inside a car — later determined to be Rankin’s — parked between the high school, 810 N. Broadway St., and the Academy at Greenfield-Central, an alternative school located immediately south of the main campus, court documents state.
The 17-year-old can be seen pointing the gun at the high school building with his finger on the trigger, police said.
Rankin owned the gun seen in a Snapchat video, investigators determined.
He told police he always keeps the handgun inside a duffel bag in his car, according to court documents. His 17-year-old friend knew where the gun was kept and took it out of the duffel bag as they were sitting in the parking lot that day, Rankin told police.
He admitted he should have told his friend not to mess with the weapon, court documents state.
Rankin was charged with one Class A misdemeanor of possession of a firearm on school property and one Class A misdemeanor of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
He pleaded guilty to one of the two counts this week in Hancock County Superior Court 2, where Judge Dan Marshall ordered he spend 10 days in jail and pay $185 in court costs.
In exchange for the guilty plea, prosecutors dropped the count of possession of a firearm on school grounds. The deal they reached with the defendant was a fair one, Prosecutor Brent Eaton said, because it required Rankin to plead guilty to what he was most responsible for.
“He created the situation,” Eaton said, “but he didn’t do the displaying (of the gun).”
Rankin’s attorney, Marc Halata of Greenfield, tried to have the case dismissed entirely because he believed there wasn’t enough evidence to support the accusations, particularly the charge of possession of a firearm on school grounds.
Halata argued that Rankin, who has a valid license to carry a handgun, was within his rights to have a firearm in his vehicle, even if the car is on school grounds.
State law bars people from bringing guns on school property; but does allow those who are licensed to carry handguns on school property as long as their firearm is “stored out of plain sight in the person’s locked motor vehicle.”
Rankin has a valid permit to carry a handgun and therefore was within his rights to have the gun in his car, Halata argued.
But Marshall opted not to dismiss the case.
Rankin remained in jail at press time.