Ind. Student Accused of Plot Ordered to Remain in Detention

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -- A judge on Friday ordered a 16-year-old boy accused of planning a Columbine-style attack on two schools on Sept. 11 to remain in a juvenile detention center and undergo a psychological evaluation.

St. Joseph Probate Court Judge Peter Nemeth said the teen, whose name was not released because of his age, must stay in detention "for his own protection and protection of society."

"It doesn't sound from past history that anyone was keeping an eye on him," Nemeth said.

The teen's attorney had asked the court to release him to the custody of his uncle, with whom he lives, or to be monitored with an electronic ankle bracelet. The boy's mother told the judge that her son did not live with her because of an altercation, but Nemeth cut her off when she tried to give additional details. The boy's relatives and attorney declined to talk to the media after the hearing.

Prosecutors have not decided whether to ask for the case to be moved to adult court, said deputy prosecutor Eric Tamashasky. The results of the psychological tests will be part of the decision.

Authorities said a school officer investigating an unrelated threat at the teen's school, Penn High, about 10 miles east of South Bend, discovered Internet postings in which the teen discussed his support for the Columbine shooters, a reference to the 1999 massacre at a suburban Denver high school in which two students killed 12 classmates and a teacher before committing suicide.

School officials questioned the teen about his postings and learned he had exchanged e-mails Sunday with an unidentified person in which they discussed conducting "Columbine-like mass murders" at the same time on Sept. 11 at Penn and another location, prosecutor Michael Dvorak said Thursday.

Teresa Carroll, spokeswoman for the Penn-Harris-Madison School Corp., said the other location was in Ohio.

The pair also wrote about researching how to obtain weapons and make explosive devices. The teenager, a freshman, asked the other person to help obtain a TEC-DC9 9mm pistol, saying it would be "awesome" to use the same weapon as the Columbine killers, Dvorak said.

Authorities detained the teen Tuesday on an initial charge of intimidation, Dvorak said. His office was still deciding whether to file more serious charges of conspiracy to commit murder after authorities found more than 100 knives at the boy's home.

Dvorak declined to give any information about the person the teen corresponded with or what the person's intended target may have been.

Authorities also found several illegal snakes at the teen's home in Mishawaka, about 10 miles east of South Bend, Dvorak said.

Police searched the student's locker, backpack, home and laptop computer and found notebooks in which he wrote about killing a large number of people, authorities said. They found he had searched the Internet on Monday for how to make propane tank bombs and for a reference guide on how to make explosives and other dangerous devices, Dvorak said.


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