After educators, scientists and concerned people on social media spoke out in support of Kiera Wilmot, 16, the student at Florida’s Bartow High School who caused a small explosion inside of a water bottle and faced felony charges, the State Attorney’s Office announced this afternoon that she will not be prosecuted, reports The Orlando Sentinel.
“The pending case has been dismissed. No formal charges will be filed,” read the office’s statement.
On the morning of Monday, April 20, Kiera mixed some household chemicals inside of an 8 oz. bottle of water. The top flew off the bottle and a cloud of smoke erupted.
There was no damage caused and no one was injured, but Kiera was led away in handcuffs and faced possible charges of “possession/discharge of a weapon on school grounds and discharging a destructive device.”
“She made a bad choice. Honestly, I don’t think she meant to ever hurt anyone,” principal Ron Pritchard told WTSP. “She wanted to see what would happen [when the chemicals mixed] and was shocked by what it did. Her mother is shocked, too.”
Kiera was expelled, served a 10-day suspension and will have to complete her diploma in an expulsion program.
Watch Kiera’s case here:
The office of State Attorney Jerry Hill, whose jurisdiction includes Polk, said that it extended “an offer of diversion of prosecution to the child,” typically a probationary-like program that allows the youngster to perform community service or meet other conditions and then avoid a criminal record.
Brian Haas, an assistant state attorney and spokesman for the office, said he could not provide details of a diversion-program agreement reached in a juvenile’s case. But he said the teenager and her guardian had signed the agreement.