NORFOLK — A dispute over baked cookies has landed the head cook at King Philip Middle School in court facing allegations she threatened to shoot co-workers.
Wendy Ferris, 46, of 117 Burnt Swamp Road in Cumberland, is free on $5,000 cash bail after pleading innocent today in Wrentham District Court to uttering threats to commit a crime.
“I’m thinking about going out and buying an AK-47 and shooting this school up,” Assistant District Attorney Christopher Meade said Ferris told a co-worker.
Ferris allegedly made the threatening comments to co-workers at the school on Friday.
Ferris was allegedly angry that another cafeteria baked a batch of cookies because the batch she baked were overcooked, according to court documents.
“Evidently I don’t know my (expletive) job or how to cook,” Ferris allegedly said.
Ferris also allegedly made statements about plans to buy ammunition and having a list with one worker “on the top” of it, according to court records.
But her husband Phillip and her lawyer told reporters that Ferris disputes the allegations.
“It’s beyond me where this comes from. It really does,” Phillip Ferris said, adding that his wife is a “good person.”
Her lawyer, Peter Padula of Franklin, said, “I’m looking forward to getting all the facts.”
Padula said he will be working with the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office and the school department about the case.
At least one employee initially did not take Ferris’s comments seriously, but grew concerned when she spoke to another employee before they decided to notify superiors, according to court records.
Ferris, a former Wrentham resident, has no prior criminal record. She has a license to carry a firearm and owns a 9 mm handgun, according to court records and statements at a bail hearing.
At least one co-worker was aware that Ferris had a gun license and a gun, and told police Ferris allegedly told her she once shot a coyote in her yard, according to court records.
Her husband also has a gun license and firearms.
As a condition of Ferris’s bail, she and her husband must surrender the weapons to police while the case is pending.
She has been an employee at the middle school for three years and previously worked at King Philip Regional High School for four years, Padula said.
As a condition of bail, Judge Robert Harbour ordered Ferris to have no contact with the witnesses or alleged victims in the case and to stay away from the middle school unless she receives permission.
Ferris was arrested by Cumberland police Friday night after Norfolk police obtained a warrant, and remained in custody over the weekend. She waived an extradition hearing in Rhode Island before she was brought to Wrentham District Court today.
She is due back in court March 11 for a pretrial hearing.
Police say they are still investigating the case.