A former Texas high school student was sentenced to 12 years in prison for slitting his classmate’s throat during a lunch period in 2017. The victim was left with permanent damage to one of his vocal cords.
Taj Levi Love, 19, recently pleaded guilty to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. On Monday, State District Judge Ruben Gonzalez handed down the 12 year sentence to Love in a Fort Worth courtroom.
The stabbing took place on May 2, 2017, at Brewer High School in the White Settlement Independent School District during lunchtime. At the time, Love was 18 years old and the victim, Maverick Forbes, was 15. Both students attended the school. Apparently Forbes approached Love at school after hearing rumors that Love stole a personal item from a friend, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Police recounted that Love pulled out a pocket knife and sliced it into Forbes’ neck as the two teenagers argued.
The victim’s trachea was nearly severed, according to local news reports. Forbes was rushed to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital where he underwent surgery. Although a hospital spokesman described Forbes as having serious but non-life threatening injuries, the teenager suffered permanent damage to one of his vocal cords.
A male student on scene when the attack occurred portrayed the incident to KTVT as a fight between the two students that broke out in the middle of a group in a hallway at lunchtime. The teenager said said no other students were involved in the stabbing. The Brewer High student said: “Once the knife was pulled, everyone backed away.”
Following the attack, White Settlement ISD officials placed the campus on perimeter lockdown as local law enforcement agents assessed the situation. Students were required to remain in their classrooms.
“This doesn’t occur very often something like this and, unfortunately, when something like this does happen, we’re all very concerned,” said Fort Worth Police Department spokesman Brad Perez after the stabbing.
Subsequently, Love was taken into custody without incident for questioning. Later, he was formally charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
After Love’s court appearance on Monday, Tarrant County Assistant District Attorney Tim Rodgers released a prepared statement about the outcome of Love’s sentencing. “Students and parents should not have to worry about violent attacks like this at school,” he said. “The victim in this case and his family will have to deal with a lifetime of physical and emotional trauma because of the defendant’s actions. It was important that this defendant be sent to prison for this attack.”
Reportedly, Love had no prior criminal history and was eligible for parole as part of his sentencing hearing.