BILLERICA (CBS) – A Billerica middle school teacher has been arrested and charged with armed robbery.

Jennifer Horton, a 27-year-old teacher at Marshall Middle School, is accused of sticking a gun in the victim’s face to steal prescription drugs and money.

“It’s absolutely horrifying, especially being in a relatively small town. You don’t expect if from these teachers… It’s baffling,” said Kerrie O’Brien, a parent.

WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager reports

Police said that Horton, a 6th grade English and Social Studies teacher at the school, was with an accomplice in a car in Worcester on Friday when they each held a gun up to a 54-year-old man who was sitting in the back seat.

According to the police report, investigators said Horton “brandished a firearm and pointed it at the victim demanding cash and his prescription medications.”

The man in the passenger seat, who is an acquaintance of the victim, then searched the victim and took cash and his medication, police said. The victim told police the man sprayed him with pepper spray, but he was able to get out of the car and walk home. The report said Horton and the man then drove off.

“It was a very shocking incident that was reported to me by the Worcester Police Department and if any employee were found guilty of these kinds of charges, then we would take very serous, appropriate actions,” said Bill Ryan, the superintendent of schools.

Parents whose kids have Horton as a teacher were told Tuesday that that she has been place on paid administrative leave.

“The message to parents is, first of all, the school is safe. This individual, as I said, is on paid administrative leave and she will not be in the building or on our property,” said Ryan.

Police said they are still searching for Horton’s accomplice. Investigators have not released his name.

Comments (30)
  1. JP says:

    Awesome….You can rob someone at gunpoint and still get a paid leave. What has this world come to.

    1. LORI says:

      I say save the town money & give her the paid leave. If she is found innocent then she can sue them for back pay & triple damages & lawyers fees. Not to mention the cost to the town to defend themselves.

  2. Tim says:

    She was my teacher she was very nice!

  3. Dan says:

    JP – I’m not defending nor do I know her, but there is a thing called innocent until proven guilty. My brother is a family man who has been working for the same company for over 25 years. A couple years ago he was walking out of a sub shop with is grey hooded sweatshirt on. Someone had just robbed a bank with a grey hooded sweatshirt on and same height and build. My brother was cuffed at gunpoint and detained. He was proven not to be the one pretty quickly, but what do you suppose would have happened if his company had fired him on the accusation alone. I’m sure when more facts are disclosed, the school admin will take appropriate action.

    1. jm says:

      if she hadn’t turned herself in, i might agree. but she did, that sort of admits guilt. i just think that the whole this is sad.

  4. P says:

    D R U G S Make criminals out of everyday people.

  5. njuguna muigai says:

    It indicates how things are really bad if people who are employed are turning and robbing people. We thought teachers should be role models.

  6. zack says:

    I was in the same building as her for the 3 years i was in the marshall thats insane

  7. cameron says:

    i saw her around the building because i go to this school.she is a sixth grade teacher and i was a sixth grade student. she she was not my teacher though which is good. she would probably have sneeken into my locker and stole something.

  8. Ryan says:

    I had mrs Horton as a teacher couple years ago. :(

  9. alyssa says:

    oh my god i had her for a teacher …..

  10. Nicole says:


  11. brian says:

    i had her her first year of teaching she was so nice its sad to hear a story like this=(

  12. Groton native says:

    I graduated high school with her in Groton, Ma, class of 2002. What a shame. What brings someone to do something like this? She was in a profession where being a role model is key. What example did this set?

  13. donny says:

    People this involves ONE teacher, not ‘teachers’.

  14. WesWelkerFan says:

    Figures, a teacher from the Marshall! The worse school in the world. My three years there were the worse three years of my life. That place could burn down and I wouldn’t care, IT’S A PRISON!!!!!!! Nothing good ever comes from the Marshall!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. a girl says:

    i had her for a teacher. she was very very very nice! i was shocked when i heard this!

  16. Joanne Burrows says:

    I’m a teacher also and while I don’t condone her actions in ANY way, we are people just like you — with the same problems, fears, and in some cases, substance abuse issues. Would this story have made headlines if Mrs. Horton had been a dentist or a dog groomer?

    1. Annoyed says:

      A dog groomer isn’t teaching my kids every day. For a teacher you aren’t too bright.

  17. Alex says:

    This girl stole a controlled substance… held a man at gunpoint… Bad News. She should not be allowed back into the school. She needs counseling, and some jail time to learn some real lessons. I’m sure she felt she needed the money for the drugs, but that doesn’t make a criminal act ok. I’m guessing that she was desperate for money, and had a moment of desperation (desperate people take desperate measures)…I don’t think she is antisocial/sociopathic (It doesn’t seem that she has a criminal past). Still, a little jail time, some fines, and fire her… That is what will show her never to do this criminal act again. Maybe it’ll stop the “path” she was on toward sociopathic patterns of behavior.

  18. Nab71 says:

    All this analysis with no facts. Any chance that the pusher (my conclusion) in the back seat may have kept money meant to go to his partners? She turned herself in due to a warrant based on his testimony. No admission of guilt. She might not have wanted to face arrest at the school. No evidence of a gun yet. No accomplice yet. Let it play out before you analyze. They are jumping to less conclusions in the Worcester media than BZ is.

  19. Eruc says:

    She’s extremIy nice. I guess she’s in an abusive relationship and was forced by her partner…

  20. Carl says:

    Big deal. She was your teacher. Who cares. Go do your homework…NOW!

  21. Ekaterina Kaverina says:

    Nothing will change. Except for the worse. Until this country starts. Hiring professional, knowledgeable, caring teachers. Which part of it is not self-evident?

  22. Darby Bryan says:

    lol! “She was my teacher, she was very nice”… What?! Good Grief! Sure she was nice, she had plenty of pills then… it was the next year when times were desperate.

  23. Darby Bryan says:

    Really though, I’m sorry to all of you students who may be affected by this teacher’s actions. It is not acceptable behavior. Take this as a lesson and learn from it.

  24. Lisa says:

    Nice or not..She should have been fired WITHOUT pay.

  25. ex-teacher says:

    She sounds like a nice person in a bad situation. Looks like she made a bad choice in her boyfriend who has an extensive criminal record. It just proves how many women love outlaws…

  26. Marci says:

    IT AMAZES ME that people are so quick to judge. She has not even been tried in a court of law yet and some have already convicted her. Thank God public opinion doesn’t count when it comes to our right to due process. Just saying..

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