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The State : 'Student' Graduates to Jail

May 14, 1987

A 23-year-old man who was dodging two outstanding arrest warrants posed as an eighth-grader for three months at a junior high school in Milpitas, where he was regarded as a highly motivated and enthusiastic student. School psychologist Mark Carpenter said Rodney Turner persuaded the staff and students at Rancho Milpitas Junior High School for a time that he was just 14 years old. But the ruse surfaced when Carpenter tried to get permission to put Turner into a special education program, and he was unable to contact his parents or guardian. Police later recognized Turner and said there were petty theft warrants for him in Alameda and Santa Clara counties. But Carpenter said the ruse had its hopeful aspects. "He really needed an education," he said. "I hope he finds one."

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