Fifth Grader Is Convicted in Murder Plot
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
COLVILLE, Wash. — An 11-year-old boy was convicted on Friday of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in a fifth-grade plot against a female classmate.
Judge Allen Nielsen of Stevens County Superior Court said on Friday that “simple anger” had fueled the plot, which the boy devised this year with a 10-year-old classmate at Fort Colville Elementary School in northeast Washington.
Staff members seized a handgun and a knife that the boys took to school on Feb. 7.
The judge, who called the trial “the most serious of my career,” rejected defense efforts to portray the boy as unable to separate fact from fiction.
After the verdict, the 11-year-old defendant was led from the courtroom in tears. He is due back in court on Nov. 8 for a sentencing hearing.
A defense lawyer said an appeal was planned.
“There is no joy in a conviction,” said the Stevens County prosecutor, Tim Rasmussen.
A school counselor, Debbie Rogers, testified on Friday about her interview with the boy on the day the weapons were discovered. The boy said that he was planning to stab the girl to death because she was “really annoying” and that the second boy was to point the gun at anyone who tried to intervene, Ms. Rogers said.
She said she saw no evidence that the 11-year-old boy was experiencing delusions that day.
The younger boy pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder and other charges. He was sentenced to three to five years in juvenile detention.
Authorities discovered the plan when a fourth grader saw one of the boys playing with a knife aboard a school bus and told a school employee. A search of the 10-year-old’s backpack found a knife, a .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol and a full ammunition magazine, court records showed.
Fifth Grader Is Convicted in Murder Plot - NYTimes.com