A judge set bail at $400,000 for a 15-year-old boy accused of threatening mass violence at La Grande High School and denied release for a 14-year-old boy.
The Observer newspaper reported that Assistant Principal Scott Carpenter urged a judge Thursday to keep the boys in custody, saying it was the first time he’s ever had students develop a plan to kill him.
“They boasted they were going to do something like Columbine,” Carpenter told a crowded courtroom that included relatives of the accused.
“Knowing what’s been reported to me, (the plan was) on April 13, 2016, during third period, the individuals were planning to murder me,” he said. “It has made a significant impact on my life. For the first time, I’ve questioned whether my job was worth my life. Whether my job is worth not seeing my wife and kids again.”
Defense attorneys argued for their release, saying the teens have no prior criminal history. Wes Williams said his 15-year-old client has never, to his parent’s knowledge, fired a gun or even held one.
“My preliminary investigation is this was merely talk between two boys,” Williams said.
La Grande police made the arrests this week after learning of the alleged plot from school staff. The boys are charged with conspiracy to commit murder. The 15-year-old has been charged as an adult and the 14-year-old is being tried as a juvenile.
Though the hearing was in Eastern Oregon, the boys appeared by teleconference from a juvenile jail in Walla Walla.