Former Madison student gets 8 years for bringing guns to school

Photo of Michelle Casady

The teenager who brought loaded guns to Madison High School last year and said he was planning to take hostages if his demands weren’t met will be going to state prison.

Brendan Sean Tarwater, now 18, was a sophomore when he brought an AK-47, two handguns, extra rounds of ammuniation and a Bowie knife to school in his backpack in April 2014. He was discovered before he could taken any action when his parents came to the school after reporting him missing.

No was injured, but the discovery triggered a lockdown. Later, school district officials imposed a ban on all backpacks that aren’t made of transparent materials.

In June, Tarwater pleaded no contest to a third-degree felony of bringing the guns to school and entered into a plea deal with the state that capped his punishment at eight years. Without a plea he could have faced up to 10 years.

State District Judge Sid Harle, who approved the plea, could have elected to have Tarwater serve the time on probation. The state indicated it was opposed to that, according to court files.

Harle sentenced Tarwater to eight years in prison.

To find out more about Tarwater’s background, go to

Twitter: @MichelleCasady