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Trial Of Ex-NLCS Teacher Begins Today
Updated November 18, 2016 6:25 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(BEDFORD) - A Lawrence County Superior Court I jury will determine the fate of a former North Lawrence Community Schools teacher charged with battering a student in his classroom.

62-year-old Orland McConnell of Bloomington is facing Level 6 felony charge of battery on a person younger than 14-years-old.

The trial is expected to last two days with Judge Michael Robbins presiding.

McConnell is being represented by attorney Joseph T. Lozano of Shapiro & Lozano Law Offices in Bloomington.

McConnell, who taught emotionally disabled students at Stalker Elementary School, was arrested in June 2015.

According to a probable cause affidavit, the incident happened at Stalker Elementary School where McConnell taught emotionally disabled children.

The child's mother went to the Bedford Police Department to report her son had been battered by McConnell on February 13, 2015. The parent told police that when she entered the classroom to pick up her son on February 12 she heard McConnell allegedly say "I bet you won't hit me now."

The mother told police her son had red marks and bruising on his face and neck. The boy also had dried blood from his nose and blood had been wiped across his face.
When she got home with her son he told her what happened. The mother then took pictures of the injuries.

The following morning the mother reported the incident to Stalker School Principal Kelly Storms.

The child was then interviewed at a child advocacy center where he told the caseworker that he and another student had been fighting over Legos. The child admitted to throwing a Lego at the other student, but it hit McConnell, which made him mad.

McConnell allegedly "grabbed him from behind and slammed him into his chair." The child reported McConnell then grabbed him by the hair and slammed his face into the desk at least three times.

Bedford Police also spoke to another staff member who was in the classroom when the alleged incident happened. She told police that the Lego had struck McConnell and he did get frustrated. She allegedly told McConnell to "count to 10" but when the child didn't follow McConnell's instructions he did grab the child from behind and slammed him into the chair "forcibly" and continued to do so.

The aid also saw McConnell slam the child's head against the desk.

McConnell was placed on indefinite administrative leave effective February 13, 2015. He resigned from his job on March 2. McConnell had been employed by the school system since April 12, 2005.

The penalty for a Level 6 felony ranges from six months to two and a half years with the Indiana Department of Correction.

In addition to the jury trial, two civil cases have been filed against McConnell, North Lawrence Community Schools and Stalker Elementary School by two plaintiffs being represented by Nunn Law Office in Bloomington. Those cases are pending in Lawrence Circuit Court.

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