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Prosecutor Threatens to Shoot Halloween Decorations, Gets Suspended

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By Jonathan R. Tung, Esq. on November 03, 2015 5:59 AM

A lawyer in West Virginia has been suspended after reacting badly to some fake plastic spider Halloween decorations. How badly? He pulled out a gun and threatened to shoot them.

Unfunny Halloween Decorations

Assistant Prosecutor Chris White was suspended after he pulled out a gun in an office setting October 5th and threatened to shoot fake plastic spiders used as Halloween decorations. White, who suffers from arachnophobia, told the other office employees that spiders were "everyplace" and that he did not find the decorations funny. The Associated Press also reported that White told other employees that he was "deathly afraid of spiders," presumably with gun drawn.

Witnesses say that White did not point the gun at anyone and did not wave the firearm around, but he did says he would shoot the spiders. This alarmed three secretaries who were present. Logan County Prosecutor John Bennett suspended White several weeks later.

Firearms Banned in the Office

Since then, Bennett has banned firearms from being carried into the office with the exception of the agency investigator's weapon. A criminal investigation has been opened into the incident and White has been suspended indefinitely because witnesses and other employees are shaken following the incident.

Bennett was also quick to point out that White behavior was not representative of White's prior behavior in the office.

Role of Guns for Prosecutors

The West Virginia incident is fairly unusual to say the least. However, at least one other district has attempted to find some middle ground between a complete ban on firearms for prosecutors and limitations on the carrying of firearms. Nassau Country District Attorney's implemented and then subsequently partially rescinded a complete ban on firearm ownership on any assistant district attorney.

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