Accused Socastee High shooter expected in court today

Christian Helms / WPDE

HORRY COUNTY (WACH, WPDE) -- The 15th Circuit Solicitor's Office says Christian Helms, the 15-year-old accused of shooting at a school resource officer, will appear in Judge Edward Cottingham's courtroom this afternoon.

A news release from the Solicitor's Office does not say why Helms is making the appearance in General Sessions Court.

In March, Family Court Judge Georgia Anderson decided that Helms would be tried as an adult for the charges he faces, including attempted murder, two counts of possession of an incendiary device and two counts of attempted detonation of those devices.

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Helms is accused of firing a shot that narrowly missed Horry County Officer Erik Karney at Socastee High School last September and bringing pipe bombs to school that day in his book bag.

Since the March decision, Helms has remained at the Department of Juvenile Justice in Columbia, where he's been treated for mental health issues.

At the time the decision was made to try Helms as an adult, his defense attorney, Russell Long, said Helms would most likely plead guilty in adult court and work out a sentence with the Solicitor's Office. Wednesday's court appearance could see that plea made.

(WPDE and contributed to this report.)