Alabama teen pleads guilty to attempted assault
A 19-year-old who was accused of planning to set off homemade explosives at his high school is seeking to avoid jail time and get probation instead. The teenager was originally arrested in January of 2013 when he was 17. A high school history teacher reported that the student had written thoughts about plans to bomb the school.
When police investigated, they say that they found more than twenty small tobacco cans and two large cans with drilled holes in the side and pellets in them. However, a search of his home did not reveal fuses, butane, black powder or any other ingredients necessary for creating explosives.
The teen allegedly first wrote in his journal about his plans on December 17, 2012. As this was three days after the Sandy Hook school shootings, authorities believed that he was influenced by the shootings. The media report also says that he describes himself as a white supremacist.
The teen pleaded guilty to a charge of first-degree attempted assault on April 11. The judge has the option of sentencing him to jail time. The defendant has requested five years’ probation as well as a fine of $100 to be paid toward the Victim’s Compensation Fund and an additional fine of $2,000.
It may sometimes be possible to get a lighter sentence for pleading guilty, and that may be what the teen is hoping for in this case. His age at the time of his arrest may also work in his favor. However, attempted first-degree assault is a serious charge. Therefore, consulting a defense attorney may be helpful in similar cases as the attorney may be able to work with the prosecution to produce a good plea bargain.
Source: AL.com, “Russell County teenager accused of planning terrorist attack on school seeks probation“, Erin Edgemon, May 02, 2014