Liberty University's Jerry Falwell Jr. Stands Behind NC Teen
Lynchburg, VA - Liberty University's Chancellor is standing behind a North Carolina high school student who was expelled last month for bringing two guns to school.
This comes even after Cole Withrow's admission that it was not an accident as he previously claimed.
Jerry Falwell Jr. is still offering Cole Withrow a free ride to Liberty University and says the law and the school went too far.
Falwell Jr. says he has always believed in second chances, sometimes to a fault.
"If I'm going to be criticized for something, I'd rather be criticized for being too lenient than for the opposite."
But he believes Withrow, is the victim of a punishment that doesn't fit the crime.
Liberty University's Chancellor just happened to be in a North Carolina hotel room when he turned on the news and heard about Withrow's story.
"That's what really caught my attention on that news report, these students were riding around with free Cole on the back of their trucks," he said.
The Eagle Scout and Honors student was arrested, facing a felony, when administrators at his high school learned he had a rifle in his truck.
Falwell believes Withrow had to lie as a condition of the plea deal.
"He was forced to admit that he knew that the gun was in the truck to get it reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor," said Falwell Jr. "It's my opinion that he didn't really know."
It's no secret where Falwell stands when it comes to gun laws. Had the same thing happened on LU's campus Withrow wouldn't need an attorney, just a gun permit.
"The gun laws only keep the good people from bringing guns to school by mistake," said Falwell Jr.
And now Withrow will get the chance to go to his dream school, a school up until now, he couldn't afford.
"He will be at Liberty this fall. He just tweeted that again today."
Falwell says even if Withrow were convicted of the felony gun charge, he'd still be allowed to attend Liberty University. Even before the plea deal, Falwell says Withrow was here for Liberty's graduation last weekend.