Cosby High senior relieved weapons charges will not be pursued

Posted at 12:16 AM, May 08, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-08 06:40:18-04

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WTVR)--With a former weapons charge no longer being pursued, Patrick Hailey, a senior suspended from Cosby High School, says that one word sums things up--relief.

Now he's hoping to get the mark on his school record expunged.

"We were all relieved,” Hailey said. “This is over with. It's done and now we can move on."

But moving on comes with the reality that Hailey, in his last year at Cosby, even though his charges were “nulle prossed,” still may not be able to don his cap and gown.

"I hope to walk with my friends, walk with the rest of the class of 2013.  I'm proud that I can call myself that," he said.

Hailey finished his course curriculum online.  He's done with school. This just isn't the way he imagined finishing up. In February a school resource officer spotted what he thought was tobacco in Hailey's car, and after a search, weapons were discovered.

"What they found obviously were the knives and an inoperable firearm without the chamber," Hailey said.

They were handed down to Hailey from his grandfather.  His car was just where he says he decided to store them.

"Even in the parking lot, knives are a violation of law,” said CBS-6 legal expert Todd Stone.  “But sometimes prosecutors exercise their discretion not to prosecute if they feel there was no real danger to the public."

Prior to his suspension, Hailey had only missed one day of school since the 7th grade. After his arrest, character witnesses rushed to his defense.

But the lesson Hailey says he’ll take from all the school drama is it wasn't the hit on his character that made him strong, it was getting back up from it.

"I'm thankful for my friends who showed me love and support and who had my back no matter what happens," Hailey said.

Hailey signed up for classes at Richard Bland, and plans to eventually  transfer to VMI, in pursuit of a career in the Navy, hoping to work in the computer field.