Taft classroom shooting: Change of venue ruling put off; lawyers argue over hit list

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) A Taft teenager accused of shooting a classmate at school returned to Kern County court Friday for a hearing.

Bryan Oliver, who was 16 at the time of the Jan. 10 shooting, is charged with two counts of attempted murder and three counts of assault with a firearm.

Oliver is accused of shooting 16-year-old classmate Bowe Cleveland inside a science classroom at Taft Union High School, while class was in session. Cleveland suffered chest and abdominal injuries.

The defense attorney says his client was pushed to violence, because he was tormented by bullies at school.

Oliver is also accused of shooting at but missing another student, Jacob Nichols. Teacher Ryan Heber received minor injuries, grazed by shotgun pellets.

At Friday's hearing, a defense motion for a change of venue was tabled until a trial judge is appointed.

The current judge also denied a defense motion to have Oliver tried as a juvenile - he's currently being tried as an adult.

The defense and prosecution also argued over the existence of a hit list. Oliver is rumored to have compiled a hit list of classmates he wanted to exact revenge on for bullying. An investigator from the Kern County District Attorney's Office testified in July that students and school administrators confirmed to him the existence of the hit list, but no official has possession of a hit list.

At Friday's hearing, the defense attorney accused the prosecutor of denying the existence of a hit list, but the prosecutor said he never denied the existence of the hit list. The prosecutor claimed he only said he didn't have the hit list.