Man charged with taking gun to school appears in court - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Man charged with taking gun to school appears in court

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Defense attorneys are saying Athens police officers had no reasonable suspicion to stop him after spotting him on the Athens High School campus. Defense attorneys are saying Athens police officers had no reasonable suspicion to stop him after spotting him on the Athens High School campus.
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LIMESTONE COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -

Defense attorneys for a Limestone County man charged with bringing a gun onto a high school campus brought their case before a judge on Tuesday.

Thomas Smoak is charged with making a terrorist threat and possession of a deadly weapon. His lawyer is trying to make a case that police had no reason to pull him over.

Defense attorneys are saying Athens police officers had no reasonable suspicion to stop him after spotting him on the Athens High School campus.

This comes after a failed motion to suppress evidence of a call made by Smoak's wife to the high school to warn them.

Three officers involved testified they responded to the scene on May 25, 2010, after Smoak's wife called Athens High School and told them he was coming there, angry over his son's discipline and armed.

An officer who got to school first said he saw the van enter onto the edge of property with his front tires on campus, back tires off, then he switched directions and got back on Hobbs Street, then onto 31 South.

Smoak's lawyer asked them all if they witnessed any traffic violations or if they could see any weapons in van the before the traffic stop.

The officers all said no, and that their suspicion was based on call from wife and van description.

Once Smoak stopped the vehicle when he was back on Hobbs Street, the authorities ordered him out by PA system. They said he approached car quickly and said, "Just shoot me."They pulled weapons - two guns and a stun gun - and they arrested him without incident.

Judge James Woodroof will decide the reasonable suspicion matter at a hearing on January 31.

Smoak's trial will begin on February 25.

Copyright 2013 WAFF. All rights reserved.

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