COLVILLE, Wash.-- The three day trial began Thursday for a fifth grade Fort Colville student accused of threatening to kill seven of his classmates.
Prosecutors rested their case Thursday afternoon after questioning school employees, law enforcement and a probation officer. Defense lawyers said they plan to call more witnesses Friday.
The 11-year-old boy accused in the murder plot sat in the courtroom Thursday wearing a white shirt and tie. This is a contrast from the juvenile detention uniform KREM 2 has seen in the past. He remains out of custody on bond.
The fifth grade suspect is one of two suspects arrested in the plot. The other boy pleaded guilty in the spring of 2013. A judge sentenced the boy to three years in a juvenile detention facility.
A judge ruled in June that the boy was competent to stand trial and the hearing would move forward as planned.
Court documents said that the boys confessed to plotting to harm seven of their classmates, including one of the boy's girlfriends. Police said that the boys brought a knife, a gun, and ammunition to Fort Colville Elementary School to kill their classmates. The plan was foiled when another student saw a knife fall from one of the suspect’s backpacks while getting off the school bus. The boy told school staff who search the students’ backpacks and found the weapons.
A Stevens County Juvenile Department probation officer, Jerrie Newport, testified Thursday that she overheard the two boys talking while detained in the juvenile department awaiting transfer to another facility.
“He said, ‘ooh if I find out who told them about our weapons, I'm gonna kill them. I don't care when I get out of jail, I'm gonna come back and kill them,’” said Newport.
The defense attorney argued the conversation should not be admitted as evidence because no one had read his client his right to remain silent. He had no attorney present. The argument came up several other times including with another witness that prosecutors called.
The judge said he will rule on what comments can be considered evidence in the case. The trial resumes Friday morning and could wrap up by the day’s end.