U.S. teenager charged with planning school massacre


spaminator
#1
U.S. teenager charged with planning school massacre
David Bailey, Reuters
First posted: Friday, May 02, 2014 09:45 AM EDT | Updated: Friday, May 02, 2014 10:19 AM EDT
MINNEAPOLIS - A southern Minnesota teenager who idolized a gunman from a Colorado high school massacre was charged Thursday with planning to kill his parents and sister and then slaughter students and staff at his school, authorities said.
John David LaDue, 17, laid out his plans in an extensive journal and amassed bomb-making materials including gun powder and ball bearings as well as firearms and ammunition, Waseca, Minn., police said.
"We believe that LaDue planned to carry out his attack within the next few weeks," Waseca Police Captain Kris Markeson told a news conference.
LaDue's journal had references to school shootings such as that at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., where two students killed 13 people and themselves in 1999, a criminal complaint said. He idolized one of the Columbine gunmen and critiqued what he thought they had done right or wrong during their attack, it said.
LaDue told police he had wanted to carry out his attack on April 20, the 15th anniversary of the Columbine massacre, but could not because it was Easter Sunday, the complaint said.
The plot was thwarted when someone called police Tuesday night after seeing a suspicious person carrying a backpack enter a storage unit and close the door behind him in Waseca, a town about 65 miles (105 km) south of Minneapolis, Markeson said.
Police encountered LaDue and saw bomb-making materials at the unit, Markeson said. Police searched the unit and at his family's house found firearms, ammunition, prepared bombs and the papers documenting his plans, Markeson said.
He was charged as a juvenile with four counts of attempted first degree murder, two counts of first degree attempted criminal damage to property and six counts of possession of an explosive or incendiary device by a person under age 18.
LaDue remains in custody and was identified because of the severity of the charges and because he is over age 16.
He had planned to kill his family, set a fire in rural Waseca to distract authorities and then head to the building that houses Waseca's junior and senior high schools, with more than 900 students, Markeson said.
Based on LaDue's account to police and his journal, he planned to set off numerous bombs during lunch, kill a school resource officer as he responded to help, then set fires and shoot students and staff before being killed by law enforcement officers, Markeson said.
Markeson said the investigation would take several more weeks.
U.S. teenager charged with planning school massacre | World | News | Toronto Sun (external - login to view)
 
QuebecCanadian
+1
#2
Quote: Originally Posted by spaminatorView Post

U.S. teenager charged with planning school massacre
David Bailey, Reuters
First posted: Friday, May 02, 2014 09:45 AM EDT | Updated: Friday, May 02, 2014 10:19 AM EDT
MINNEAPOLIS - A southern Minnesota teenager who idolized a gunman from a Colorado high school massacre was charged Thursday with planning to kill his parents and sister and then slaughter students and staff at his school, authorities said.
John David LaDue, 17, laid out his plans in an extensive journal and amassed bomb-making materials including gun powder and ball bearings as well as firearms and ammunition, Waseca, Minn., police said.
"We believe that LaDue planned to carry out his attack within the next few weeks," Waseca Police Captain Kris Markeson told a news conference.
LaDue's journal had references to school shootings such as that at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., where two students killed 13 people and themselves in 1999, a criminal complaint said. He idolized one of the Columbine gunmen and critiqued what he thought they had done right or wrong during their attack, it said.
LaDue told police he had wanted to carry out his attack on April 20, the 15th anniversary of the Columbine massacre, but could not...

Quote has been trimmed, See full post: View Post
Just read that this guy will be tried as as a juvenile. Attempted murder et al. So as a juvenile he will be what, sentenced to a couple of years?.....maybe? Can someone like this ever be safely let out into society? Personally I don't think so. Technically he did nothing but his self described plan was horrific!
 
Tecumsehsbones
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by QuebecCanadianView Post

Just read that this guy will be tried as as a juvenile. Attempted murder et al. So as a juvenile he will be what, sentenced to a couple of years?.....maybe? Can someone like this ever be safely let out into society? Personally I don't think so. Technically he did nothing but his self described plan was horrific!

Maximum is detention in a juvenile facility until he's 21.
 
gopher
+1
#4
Frankly I am startled since a child can be certified as an adult for such charges as young as 14 in Minnesota. Perhaps the court will reconsider.
 
IdRatherBeSkiing
+2
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by gopherView Post

Frankly I am startled since a child can be certified as an adult for such charges as young as 14 in Minnesota. Perhaps the court will reconsider.

I think the court needs to make up its mind about what is juvenile and what is adult. Seems a lot of cherry picking. If a kid is 14 he is a juvenile regardless of the severity of the crime. Perhaps juvenile sentences are too weak but not sure how they can try a 14 year old as an adult.

But in this case, given that he didn't actually do anything (yet), I can see why a juvenile facility may be able to help him rehabilitate.
 
QuebecCanadian
+1
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by IdRatherBeSkiingView Post

I think the court needs to make up its mind about what is juvenile and what is adult. Seems a lot of cherry picking. If a kid is 14 he is a juvenile regardless of the severity of the crime. Perhaps juvenile sentences are too weak but not sure how they can try a 14 year old as an adult.

But in this case, given that he didn't actually do anything (yet), I can see why a juvenile facility may be able to help him rehabilitate.

How can we ever know if someone like that is ready to be let loose in society. It's not like it was all talk. He had the bombs, the weapons, the journal with the detailed plan. He was going to kill his family including the sister he apparently was very close to. That is not the plan of someone who is properly "wired" and how many wires need to be tested before you get the right one? He admired other mass murderers. Next time maybe he won't make mistakes.
 
SLM
+1
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by QuebecCanadianView Post

How can we ever know if someone like that is ready to be let loose in society. It's not like it was all talk. He had the bombs, the weapons, the journal with the detailed plan. He was going to kill his family including the sister he apparently was very close to. That is not the plan of someone who is properly "wired" and how many wires need to be tested before you get the right one? He admired other mass murderers. Next time maybe he won't make mistakes.

True however if there is ever an opportunity/chance to 're-wire' someone's mindset, it is more plausible for those who have yet to become completely 'hard wired' (using your vernacular). In other words, those of this age group specifically. If you're going to have any hope at all of rehabilitating someone, the younger they are, the better the shot you have. And maybe we should always at least try?

Now having said that, there is still a risk factor involved. And that needs to be taken into account as well.

The main problem, as I see it, is that the legal system seems to deal more in absolutes. Guilty or innocent, fit to stand trial or not fit to stand trial, punish or release. They don't seem to do so well in any kind of grey area and that's where they need to improve. In my opinion.
 
Tecumsehsbones
#8
A good lawyer would have said it was a "science project" and gotten the kid off scot-free. Then sued the school, the principal, the superintendent, the cops, the mayor, the town, the state, Lithuania, the IMF, and the Klingons.
 
SLM
+4
#9  Top Rated Post
Strange how the phrase "good lawyer" involves a singular and wholly unique definition of the word "good".
 
Tecumsehsbones
+1
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

Strange how the phrase "good lawyer" involves a singular and wholly unique definition of the word "good".

Just like a "good soldier" is one who is particularly adept and efficient at killing people, not ordinarily an activity considered "good."
 
SLM
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

Just like a "good soldier" is one who is particularly adept and efficient at killing people, not ordinarily an activity considered "good."

Fair enough, still it would be nice to see the entirety of "the system" actually do something beneficial for all concerned in these situations. The kid's not a murderer and he is a kid but we do need to protect other kids and society as a whole, so what do we do?

Maybe we need to look beyond the legal answer or the criminal justice answer into a simple human answer, or at least start asking those questions. Because this isn't the first kid and he won't be the last.

And for all those thinking I mean to coddle this boy, I don't, he needs to be controlled, at least right now. But we need a better solution than what we have.
 
Tecumsehsbones
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

Fair enough, still it would be nice to see the entirety of "the system" actually do something beneficial for all concerned in these situations. The kid's not a murderer and he is a kid but we do need to protect other kids and society as a whole, so what do we do?

My personal opinion? Run a credit check. If he can't afford my fees, a bullet behind his left ear.

Quote:

Maybe we need to look beyond the legal answer or the criminal justice answer into a simple human answer, or at least start asking those questions. Because this isn't the first kid and he won't be the last.

I just gave you the simple human answer. Like it or not, for all its flaws, the legal system produces better outcomes overall than any of the alternatives tried by humanity thus far.

Quote:

And for all those thinking I mean to coddle this boy, I don't, he needs to be controlled, at least right now. But we need a better solution than what we have.

You mean a better solution than the legal system? I'm open to ideas, but finding something better than a system that has been developed, and continues to be developed, by some of the best minds society has to offer for 750-odd years is going to take some doing.
 
IdRatherBeSkiing
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

A good lawyer would have said it was a "science project" and gotten the kid off scot-free. Then sued the school, the principal, the superintendent, the cops, the mayor, the town, the state, Lithuania, the IMF, and the Klingons.

I thought it was more of a Romulon Plot or Ploy.
 
Tecumsehsbones
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by IdRatherBeSkiingView Post

I thought it was more of a Romulon Plot or Ploy.

Good point. I'll amend the complaint.
 
Sal
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

Maximum is detention in a juvenile facility until he's 21.

will they then do a psych eval on him?
 
Tecumsehsbones
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by SalView Post

will they then do a psych eval on him?

In Minnesota, probably. They're notoriously librul.
 
Sal
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

In Minnesota, probably. They're notoriously librul.

okay so, let's say on his 21 birthday they do a psych eval and determine he is a danger...what happens then?
 
Tecumsehsbones
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by SalView Post

okay so, let's say on his 21 birthday they do a psych eval and determine he is a danger...what happens then?

Criminally, nothing.

If he's charged as a juvenile, he can only be detained as punishment or correction until he turns 21. And he cannot be re-tried or re-punished then, because that would be double jeopardy.

Mental health is a completely separate thing. A person may only be committed if he is found to be non compos mentis by a court. It's a civil proceeding, and the standard is whether the person's mental state is such that she presents a continuing danger to herself or others. A person may be adjudged non compos mentis whether or not he has committed a crime. All it takes is someone with "standing," loosely defined as an interest in the case or controversy, to petition for the declaration. The state always has standing.

So. . . bottom line, he can be held indefinitely in a mental institution if, and only if, he's found to be insane. Otherwise, he walks at 21, at the latest.
 
Sal
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

Criminally, nothing.

If he's charged as a juvenile, he can only be detained as punishment or correction until he turns 21. And he cannot be re-tried or re-punished then, because that would be double jeopardy.

Mental health is a completely separate thing. A person may only be committed if he is found to be non compos mentis by a court. It's a civil proceeding, and the standard is whether the person's mental state is such that she presents a continuing danger to herself or others. A person may be adjudged non compos mentis whether or not he has committed a crime. All it takes is someone with "standing," loosely defined as an interest in the case or controversy, to petition for the declaration. The state always has standing.

So. . . bottom line, he can be held indefinitely in a mental institution if, and only if, he's found to be insane. Otherwise, he walks at 21, at the latest.

would that be difficult... in your opinion in a case like this what are the chances of him being held indefinitely... and would he not be evaluated along the way to determine if he is improving mentally...and if not... then there would be grounds
 
Tecumsehsbones
+1
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by SalView Post

would that be difficult... in your opinion in a case like this what are the chances of him being held indefinitely... and would he not be evaluated along the way to determine if he is improving mentally...and if not... then there would be grounds

He would certainly be evaluated repeatedly whilst in juvenile detention. By the way, he can be found insane whilst still a juvenile and committed. The two processes are separate, and the 21 age line does not apply to the mental health system.

Juvenile detention tries to focus on rehabilitation much more than the adult penal system. That includes much more psychological/psychiatric work.
 
Sal
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

He would certainly be evaluated repeatedly whilst in juvenile detention. By the way, he can be found insane whilst still a juvenile and committed. The two processes are separate, and the 21 age line does not apply to the mental health system.

Juvenile detention tries to focus on rehabilitation much more than the adult penal system. That includes much more psychological/psychiatric work.

good thing, I don't see us being at a place yet where we can help someone who is that damaged
 
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