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Teen released, three years after school shooting
The Associated Press
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - A girl who shot a classmate in the shoulder at their Catholic high school three years ago has been released from state custody.
Elizabeth Bush, 18, has spent time in juvenile detention centers and group homes since March of 2001, when she wounded a 13-year-old acquaintance in the cafeteria of Bishop Neumann High School in Williamsport.
Bush was 14 at the time, and a recent transfer to the school. She said she was angry about being teased.
A Lycoming County Judge authorized the girl's release, with some conditions. Bush will be required to wear an electronic monitoring anklet that will allow officials to monitor her whereabouts. She will also be banned from going to Williamsport until she is 21. Judge William S. Kieser also ordered her to continue going to therapy.
Previously, Bush has been allowed to visit her home in Jersey Shore, Pa., but this will mark the first time she has been out of state custody for an extended period. Kieser said Bush appeared to be ready.
"I believe I've become a productive member of society," Bush said during the court hearing that led to her release.
Bush's victim, Kimberly Marchese, recovered from her wounds and will be a senior this year at Bishop Neumann.
Her father, Michael, told the judge that the family did not oppose Bush's release, as long as the court could provide assurances that she would be monitored and have no access to weapons.
"We're not a vindictive family," he said.
He added that his daughter is still in counseling.
After her arrest, Bush said she was depressed and had taken to cutting her arms with a razor in the months before the shooting. She said she stole a .22-caliber pistol from her father's collection and brought it to school because she wanted people to "know my pain" from repeated teasing.
About 100 students were in the cafeteria when Bush fired. A 14-year-old classmate who rode the bus with her talked her into dropping the gun.
She was sentenced to an open-ended term at a psychiatric facility.
Information from: The Patriot-News, http://www.patriot-news.com/August 22, 2004 2:36 PM
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