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March hearing for Socastee teen charged with taking gun, bombs to school

The waiver hearing for a 15-year-old Socastee High School student has been set for March 14-18, according to Alicia A. Richardson, senior assistant solicitor for juvenile prosecution in Horry County.

The hearing, which was originally set for this week, was continued because attorneys did not have enough time to review an evaluation of Christian Helms, according to officials.

During the hearing a family court judge will decide if he should be tried as an adult or juvenile on charges he took a loaded gun and two pipe bombs to school in September, Richardson said.

Helms will remain in the custody of the state Department of Juvenile Justice in Columbia until the waiver hearing.

The teen’s attorney, Russell Long, and his parents have said they will dispute the waiver motion to move the case to circuit court. They say the teen reacted to being bullied in school.

Christian has been in state custody since the 2 p.m. Sept. 21 incident, when police say he went to the office of Socastee High School resource officer Erik Karney with the weapons.

Karney and the teen struggled after the teen presented a gun and during the altercation the student shot at Karney, according to Horry County police. Karney was not shot, but was injured by shrapnel when the bullet hit the wall. Karney took Christian into custody and police later found two pipe bombs inside the teen’s backpack.

Horry County police charged the teen in juvenile court with attempted murder; possession, threatened or attempted use of weapon of mass destruction for act of terrorism; and possession of a destructive device.