Grand jury indicts Boland on 5 state charges

By Stacy

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- A grand jury in Charleston County indicted Alice Boland on five state charges April 1, Solicitor Scarlett Wilson announced Wednesday.

The charges include attempted murder, possession of a firearm during a violent crime, unlawful carrying of a pistol and two counts of pointing a firearm.

Boland faces up to 46 years in prison for the charges if she is convicted, Wilson said.

Wilson said the state will wait to pursue Boland's charges until federal authorities have completed their prosecution. Federal authorities on March 13 charged Boland in a four-count indictment by the U.S. Attorney's Office with making a false statement in order to purchase a firearm, illegally possessing a firearm because of her status as a person who had been previously committed to a mental institution or who had been adjudicated as mentally incompetent, possession of a firearm in a school zone and attempted discharge of a firearm in a school zone.

"We thought it would be a good idea if the feds went first because there would be more access to mental health treatment if that were deemed necessary," Wilson said.

The solicitor also supported legislation in the S.C. State House to strengthen mental-health reporting to the{}federal background check system.

"I think this focus on gun control is wasted energy. The focus needs to be on mental health system. Too often our mental health system is our prison system," she said.

The charges stem from the incident where Boland arrived on Ashley Hall's downtown campus and aimed a loaded gun at a school administrator, according to police.

Police say Boland came on{}Ashley Hall School premises{}in downtown Charleston with a gun on Feb. 4 and pointed it at two school officials.

She pulled the trigger repeatedly, according to police, but the gun did not fire because there was not a round in the gun's chamber. Police said the only thing preventing the gun from firing was Boland's ignorance of handling firearms.

In Boland's bond hearing, she repeatedly said the gun was defective and would not fire.

Boland had purchased the handgun three days prior -- legally -- from a gun shop in Walterboro. According to Charleston police, the ATF announced on Feb. 8 that Boland would not face federal charges.

However, a dig into Boland's past shows she had been charged with threatening the life of the president and members of Congress in 2005.

"Give me a gun, I am going to kill you," she reportedly told airport police. "I am going to kill President Bush with a gun. Just give me a gun; I am going to come back and shoot you all, asshole. I am going to find a gun and kill you all."

She later pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and the charges were dropped against her.

The regional director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms said there was "nothing illegal" about Boland's purchase.

She is charged locally with attempted murder and was scheduled for a preliminary hearing on March 14, but it was waived. She will not have a preliminary hearing.