Beaufort News

State charges Boland with attempted murder in gun incident

Alice Boland
Alice Boland

A Lady's Island woman accused of taking a gun to a Charleston school and trying to fire it at school officials will face state charges, according to 9th Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson.

Wilson held a press conference Wednesday in Charleston to announce state charges against Alice Boland, 28, who is accused of trying to kill school officials outside Ashley Hall in early February.

Wilson said Boland is facing state indictments of attempted murder, two counts of pointing a firearm, unlawful carrying of a firearm and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime, according to WCSC TV in Charleston.

She is also facing federal charges.

A federal grand jury in Charleston charged Boland last month with giving a false statement to purchase a firearm, possession of a firearm in a school zone and attempted discharge of a firearm in a school zone. It also charged her with illegally possessing a firearm because she once was committed to a mental institution or "had been adjudicated as mentally incompetent."

She is accused of pointing a gun at two school officials Feb. 4 and repeatedly pulling the trigger. The gun did not fire because there was no bullet in the chamber, police say.

She is now undergoing a psychiatric evaluation because she "may presently suffer from a mental disease or defect which would render her mentally incompetent" and "to determine the existence of insanity at the time of the offense," according to the psychiatric order signed by U.S. Magistrate Bristow Marchant.

Her purchase of a handgun days before the school incident has sparked efforts on both state and federal levels to shore up gun laws to prevent some with mental illnesses from buying guns.

Boland pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to 2005 charges that she threatened President George W. Bush and others. Boland's plea didn't appear in a federal background check because the state doesn't share that information.

On Tuesday, two separate bills that would give federal authorities information about people who have been determined by a court to have mental problems were passed by legislative committees. One bill is heading to the House floor, while another is heading to the Senate floor after votes Tuesday in separate committees.

The goal of both bills is to close a loophole that authorities say allowed Boland to buy a gun.

The Associated Press and staff writer Gina Smith contributed.