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Singlemalt
09-29-2004, 07:38 AM
http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2004/Sep-29-Wed-2004/news/24874655.html

Judge urges more armed security

Stabber in 2002 rampage at county office receives 52 to 130 years in prison

A judge Tuesday used the sentencing of a man who went on a stabbing rampage at a Clark County Social Services office to question why society doesn't allow more public officials to carry firearms.

Speaking at the sentencing hearing of convicted stabber Michael McLaughlin, District Judge Donald Mosley said McLaughlin's 2002 attack on three people in Henderson could have been deterred if a security guard at the office had been armed.

"If that security guard had a firearm, we wouldn't be here today," Mosley said. "We might be at a funeral, but we wouldn't be here."

The judge then sentenced McLaughlin, 39, to 52 to 130 years in prison for the stabbings at the office, 67 E. Lake Mead Drive.

McLaughlin will be ineligible for parole until he is 91.

"The mayhem you created, and the abject fear you created, is inexcusable," the judge said.

Darryl Martin, the county's director of social services, said that because of the stabbings, security has been boosted at all social services offices. Now, all of the buildings have metal detectors and at least two guards, one of whom is armed.

"We do have armed security now," Martin said. "We've added one armed security officer at all times, and that is a direct outgrowth of what happened."

No armed guards or metal detectors were at the social services satellite office when McLaughlin showed up to seek rental aid.

McLaughlin, a five-time convicted felon who admits he was under the influence of drugs, had no appointment, but he was told someone would meet with him.

Without provocation, McLaughlin then brandished a knife and started stabbing workers.

Employee Kathy Atkinson was stabbed multiple times and beaten. Also stabbed were supervisor Susan Rhodes and security guard Steve Glenn. All three victims survived.

Rhodes said in court Tuesday she suffered a permanent head injury from the attack. She asked the judge to ensure McLaughlin never gets out of prison.

"Ensure what only you have the authority to do; ensure the safety of the residents of Clark County," Rhodes said.

McLaughlin apologized for his actions and said he was under the influence of drugs at the time.

"I was under the influence of several controlled substances," he said. "I would like to apologize to the community, the court ... and all of my victims.

"There is no excuse for my actions," McLaughlin said. "I was not in the right frame of mind. My head was totally gone."

But Rhodes said she was not buying McLaughlin's remorse.

"I'm not a firm believer in remorsefulness at the time of sentencing," Rhodes said. "Somehow, it seems rather phony to me."

Mosley compared the stabbings to deadly school shootings across the United States in which assailants have gone "room to room" attacking "totally helpless" victims.

He said that at schools, assistant principals should be able to carry a firearm to deter such attacks. He said he did not understand "why we are so allergic to firearms in this country."


"We will never disarm any American who seeks to protect his or her family from fear and harm."

-- President Ronald Reagan

Wally_in_Cincy
09-29-2004, 09:04 AM
Maybe Rosie O'Donnell can loan them one of her armed guards