Former assistant teacher at Northampton pleads guilty for having gun and drugs in vehicle on school grounds

September 6, 2023
 |

By Linda Cicoira

A local woman, who was working as an assistant teacher at Northampton High School, pleaded guilty Monday to possessing a concealed weapon and marijuana that were in her car on school property in March.

Twenty-four-year-old Khalil Dya Brooks, of Jeffery Lane in Cape Charles, was sentenced to a total of 42 days in jail with all but two days suspended. She was also ordered to perform 100 hours of community service and was fined $500.

Brooks was working for an educational staffing subcontractor when police conducted a scheduled drug sweep at the school on March 15, 2023. No drugs were found inside the building. However, officers saw what they thought was marijuana through a car window in the parking lot and brought their dogs over to inspect it.

The car belonged to Brooks. In the passenger side glove box, a loaded pistol was found, said Commonwealth’s Attorney Jack Thornton. There was marijuana and drug paraphernalia in a compartment on the inside of a back door.

Brooks was indicted on a count of felony possession of a firearm “on property open to the public and then exclusively used for school-sponsored functions or extracurricular activities while such functions or activities were taking place.” She was also charged with possession of marijuana.

Thornton reduced the felony to a misdemeanor in a plea-bargaining agreement. “There is no doubt in the commonwealth’s mind that this was a mistake, but a grave mistake living in the times that we live in,” the prosecutor said. He acknowledged her “admirable work in the community,” but added, “She should see the inside of the jail. I’m not saying she should serve a long time …”

     Brooks cried as she apologized to the court, school division, staff, and students. She said she knows she should have “led by example. I want to continue” to work in education. “I do ask for forgiveness … a mistake as grand as this will never reoccur … I ask for mercy as I continue in my career and my life.”

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