Block profile

Former teacher Nora Block appears in District Court in Hardin in February 2018.

A former Hardin High School teacher was convicted Thursday on charges relating to her hiding a gun for one of her students at the school. 

Nora Block, 42, was convicted of felony tampering with evidence and misdemeanor obstruction of a peace officer, according to a press release from the Big Horn County Attorney's Office. Her trial began Tuesday.

The jury hung on a third charge, possession of a weapon in a school building, after seven hours of deliberations, the release said. The state moved to dismiss the charge. 

Block was arrested in February on charges stemming from a Jan. 26 incident. 

School officials responded to a report that Uttekaat Isaiah Jade Birdinground, a student, had a gun at school and was sitting in Block's classroom.

Birdinground, 17, was arrested days after the incident and charged with felony attempted robbery and two misdemeanors, carrying a concealed weapon and having a weapon in a school building.

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According to charging documents, Birdinground had come into the school that Friday and sat in Block’s classroom nearly three hours before he was removed by a teacher. He did not attend his regular classes that day; he was not registered in Block’s class.

No gun was found on the student, but sheriff's deputies returned to the school Saturday and were told Block had found the gun while cleaning the classroom, according to the charges.

On Monday, Jan. 29, another student interviewed by officers said he had found the gun Friday and had given it to the teacher. Block declined to be interviewed that day, but came to a meeting later that night and told school officials she had lied about finding the gun, the documents state.

The school principal told investigators Block admitted to leaving the gun in her desk overnight, then on Saturday taking the gun out of her desk and placing it under a student's desk before reporting the weapon found.

According to the press release, witnesses in the case included the Big Horn County undersheriff, Sheriff’s deputies, school administrators, another teacher, high school students and Block.

Block is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 10 at 3 p.m. in Big Horn County District Court.

She faces up to 10 years in jail and a $50,000 fine for the tampering conviction and six months in jail and a $500 fine on the obstruction conviction. According to the press release, Block was released on her own recognizance.

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