Dustin Michael Randell appeared in Johnson County court April 6, 2018, and pled guilty to charges stemming from the vandalism of Gardner Edgerton High school in February 2017.
Randell was one of three suspects in the February 2017 burglary incident. The other suspects remain at large.
Pam Stranathan, USD 231, declined comment regarding the plea agreement and referred all questions to the Gardner Police Department.
“I’m pleased we were able to identify and arrest one of the three suspects in the GEHS burglary and that he’s pled guilty to a felony count of criminal destruction of property,” said Jim Pruetting, Gardner Police Chief. “I am, however, disappointed the suspect wasn’t required to identify the other two suspects as part of the plea agreement to drop the felony burglary charge in exchange for his guilty plea on the lesser charge. The case does remain open and we are hopeful the remaining suspects are eventually identified. We ask that anyone with information about the crime contact us immediately.”
Randell was arrested Oct. 3, 2017, in Taney County, Mo., on a Johnson County burglary. He was originally held in Johnson County jail on $25,000 bond charged with three counts: burglary, not a dwelling; criminal damage; and misdemeanor theft. His court date was Oct. 10, 2017. He made a $7500 surety bond and was released to Missouri Oct. 10.
Video from GEHS last February captured what was believed to be a light colored 1990s model Ford Bronco entering and leaving the area, and video retrieved from the school’s security system shows three male suspects approximately 18-25 years of age.
One of the suspects suffered an injury, most likely a laceration to the hand or forearm resulting from their breaking a glass window, according to a press release issued at the time.
Due to the extent of the damage and the time needed for cleanup and repair, USD 231 canceled classes for GEHS students for Feb. 27, 2017, but students returned to school Feb. 28, 2017.
Damages to GEHS were about $11,000.