Teen accused of planning Columbine-style attack at Penn sentenced

By: Marcie Kobriger Email
By: Marcie Kobriger Email

A former Penn High freshman who planned a Columbine style attack at the school last April was sentenced today to the Indiana Department of Corrections.

The judge took the prosecution's recommendation, and handed the minor over to the Department of Corrections, where he could stay at the “boy’s school” till he’s 21.

He pled guilty to conspiracy to commit murder, last month. As an adult the charge would have been a Class A felony, which carries a maximum of 50 years.

The 16-year-old was arrested in April, after a school resource officer discovered Myspace postings in which he discussed his support for the columbine massacre. It was also discovered was planning his own attack for September 11-th at Penn.

Today, he told the judge the postings were merely discussions, and that he had no real intention of harming any of his classmates.

However, the prosecutor's office says his actions speak louder than his words.

“He had harmful things in his possession and he actually began researching how to make propane tank bombs which is exactly what Dylan Harris and Eric Klebold planned to start Columbine with. So, it’s more than words. He actually began research and that’s where we got conspiracy and that’s why were here,” Eric Tamashasky with the prosecutor’s office says.

Even the juvenile’s mother feels the judge made the right call.

“I feel comfortable with the decision. I think he can go on and learn from his mistake and come out a stronger person and maybe a better person. That’s what i can hope for,” Kelly Stetler tells NewsCenter 16.

The teen was also allegedly conspiring with 33-year-old Lee Billi, of Lakewood, Ohio. Billi has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. The juvenile’s attorney did not know whether or not the teen might testify in that case.

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