A Prince William County judge granted a $10,000 bond yesterday to a 14-year-old youth indicted on charges of aggravated malicious wounding in the shooting of a neighbor with a BB gun. The boy had been held without bail since his October arrest.
But Archie James Anderson, of Dale City, remains in the county's Juvenile Detention Center because his family cannot afford the bond set by Circuit Court Judge Richard B. Potter, his attorney said.
If released, Anderson, who has been charged as an adult, would be sent home in his mother's custody and would have to be under her close supervision.
Anderson was arrested Oct. 29 after Prince William County police detectives learned that he allegedly shot a 12-year-old girl in the eye with a BB gun from a second-story window. Anderson told officials the shooting was accidental. Prosecutors have said they believe the victim was targeted as she was walking from her home to get the mail.
According to court records, Anderson was playing with friends at the time of the incident and rushed to help the girl after she was hit. Prosecutors said that the BB remains lodged behind the girl's eye and is resting on an optic nerve.
If convicted, he could face a sentence of 20 years to life. Because Anderson has no prior criminal record, it is unlikely that he would be sentenced to a bulk of that term. He is scheduled to stand trial in Prince William County Circuit Court in March and will not be tried before a jury.
Arthur von Keller IV, Anderson's court-appointed attorney, asked the court yesterday to reduce Anderson's bond to personal recognizance because he does not have a record. Potter declined the request.
"Archie is very upset and depressed," von Keller said yesterday after the hearing. "He looks pretty bad."
Anderson was suspended from Godwin Middle School shortly after the shooting because he took the BB gun to school to show it to friends. Von Keller said Anderson showed the BB gun to school officials and was immediately removed from school. He said the expulsion process has been set in motion.