Throughout our coverage of Robert Ringley, the Ave Maria School of Law student accused of attempted murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, many have offered up their comments about the alleged occurrence, and thoughts about law school in general. This comment was perhaps the most fitting of them all:
Law school is a mental illness factory. If you go in healthy, you’ll come out bitter, angry, and depressed. If you go in unhealthy… well, you risk coming out a murderer.
Yesterday, some described Ringley as easygoing, funny, and carefree. But were those traits just used as a cover-up to mask Ringley’s darker side? We’ve got some additional insights on the alleged perpetrator’s state of mind, plus news on his status at Ave Maria Law….
Was Robert C. Ringley really as nice of a guy as others have described him? A source told us previously that there had been rumors of Ringley’s belligerence while under the influence of alcohol. According to another tipster, who claims to have known Ringley well, the drink really brought out the devil in him:
This guy had serious mental problems from the start. I think his DUI was at the beginning of 1L year. He was a loud, obnoxious, spoiled, rich kid. It is true that he was a nice and sociable kid when he was not drinking and he was BFFs with [alleged victim Christopher] Graves, but for a fellow law student’s Halloween party, he dressed up like Charlie Sheen, drank himself retarded, and started a bunch of fights with half the party, including verbally attacking numerous girls that were there. I think he was asked to leave.
To be fair, Rob Ringley is from the same part of New Jersey where Lat and I hail from, which has no shortage of “loud, obnoxious, spoiled, rich kid[s].” And yes, some of those rich kids feel more entitled than others, and can be really obnoxious. We don’t know whether Ringley was one of those kids, but we think it’s probably safe to assume that he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Up until the part where our tipster alleges that Ringley started fights with fellow party-goers and verbally attacked girls, he actually sounds like a fun guy to hang out with (just make sure to bring a designated driver).
But will Ave Maria take this alleged sinner back into her loving embrace? At first glance, this seemed like a real possibility. As we’ve emphasized before (and would like to emphasize again), Ringley has merely been charged, not convicted; he is presumed innocent until proven guilty. And as noted in our first report, a law school spokesman supposedly stated that Ave Maria didn’t have a policy in place regarding students who are arrested, and that it was “not a situation [the school had] encountered before.”
Multiple observers contacted Above the Law to dispute this claim, citing several instances of prior gun violence between classmates at the law school that occurred in Michigan and in Florida. The administration must have dropped to their knees and overloaded on Hail Marys, because this is the first we’ve heard of the allegations. If you have any more information, please email us, or text us at 646-820-8477.
After the Ave Maria Law dean, Eugene Milhizer, caught wind of the statement supposedly made to the media, he quickly sent the following to all students:
I write to provide some additional information relating to the incident last Friday morning. First, and contrary to some speculation otherwise, the alleged shooter has not been released on bail. One of the offenses of which he is charged does not allow for his release on bail. Second, of course the Law School has procedures to address alleged student misconduct including circumstances where a student has been arrested. Press reports to the contrary are incorrect and incorrectly attribute this statement to a spokesperson for the school.
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
Eugene R. Milhizer
Of course the law school has a procedure to address alleged student misconduct. It’s called “confession.” And from the looks of it, Ringley just wasn’t repentant enough. Dean Milhizer sent the following email to students late yesterday afternoon:
Dear Law School Community,
Mr. Ringley has permanently withdrawn from Ave Maria School of Law and is no longer a student here, and he remains barred from campus. The legal process will continue and the school is committed to cooperating with the authorities. We will also continue to do all we can to support the other students involved in the January 13 event.
Eugene R. Milhizer
President and Dean
With Ringley behind bars, without a hope or a prayer for release on bail, points to the dean for comical usage of the term “barred from campus.”
But is this a case of a withdrawal before an expulsion? Or does the school actually have adequate policies in place to deal with alleged student misconduct of this sort? Either way, Rob Ringley handled it “like a boss,” without even having to flash his gun.