Former UAFS Student Banned From Campus In Plea Deal
A former University of Arkansas – Fort Smith student accused of bringing a handgun on campus last January has reached a deal to avoid jail time.
Brett Ward, 23, of Greenwood was arrested after UAFS officers asked him to step outside of the class he was attending. Police confiscated a 9-millimeter Glock handgun from Ward and placed him under arrest.
Ward was scheduled to appear in court Monday, December 16, but reached the deal earlier this month, avoiding the hearing.
Under the deal Ward has agreed to a five-year suspended sentence and will pay a $1,500 fine along with other jail and court fees. The deal was approved by Judge James Fox, according to officials with the Sebastian County Courthouse.
As part of the agreement Ward was also banned from the UAFS campus and ordered to surrender his firearm.
UAFS Chancellor Dr. Paul B. Beran said there was no danger to students, faculty or staff at any time, speaking about the incident in January.
“Apparently he expressed at least some concern about all the other things that had been happening around the country, so it sounds more like a self-protective measure,” said Beran.
State law prohibits the possession of concealed handguns on school grounds and college campuses. Beran says Ward did not have a handgun carry permit.
“We are serious about the safety and welfare of those on our campus,” Beran said in a statement released by the university. Beran says the university had not had any issues with Ward in the past, prior to his arrest.
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