Liberty University, a Christan college in Virginia, is giving a scholarship to high school senior David Withrow, who recently admitted to lying about an incident in which he brought two shotguns to his school campus (video below).
The senior allegedly brought the guns with him to Princeton High School on April 29.
Withrow claimed that he accidentally left the shotguns in his truck after a weekend of skeet shooting and did not intend to bring them to school.
The 18 year old said he tried to get permission from school administrators to take the guns home, but instead was suspended and charged by police with a felony for bringing a weapon onto educational property.
At the time, pro-gun advocates claimed that Withrow was a victim of political correctness and unfair gun control laws. A Twitter and T-shirt campaign were created with the hashmark “#FreeCole.”
According to WRAL-TV, as a result, Withrow got scholarship offers from Liberty University and Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas.
However, during his May 16 court appearance, Withrow admitted: "I was not truthful...I did in fact know that the two shotguns were in my truck on school property. I did not mean to hurt anyone by my actions."
After Withrow plead guilty, the felony charge was reduced to a misdemeanor. He received a 45-day suspended sentence, reports WRAL-TV.
On May 16, Withrow wrote on Twitter: “I’ve already talked to Mr. Jerry Falwell Jr. He told me not to worry about it and be at Liberty in the fall!”
“We … knew that he might have to publicly take the blame, whether he was at fault or not, in order to have the charges reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor,” Liberty Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. said in a statement on May 17. "I believe that is exactly what happened here.”
“In any event, Liberty University is pleased that the charges against Cole Withrow were reduced to a misdemeanor, but we still believe this is more punishment than he deserved.”
District Attorney Susan Doyle said that a school security video showed Withrow speaking with other students at the time he claimed he discovered the guns in his truck.
Sheriff’s deputy Adam Davis said the barrel of one gun was actually near the gas pedal in Withrow's truck, so it's highly unlikely Withrow forgot about the guns.
Davis also said that Withrow was texting and laughing as he taken to jail: "Ha, ha, my friends are going to start a petition about why I'm being charged with this."
Despite the deceptions by Withrow, Liberty University Communications Director John Moore said the scholarship will provide “whatever he needs” to come to Liberty.