A 17-year-old Virginia student has been taken into custody on weapons charges for allegedly threatening an attack on his school on what would have been the anniversary of the Columbine High School attack. According to an affidavit, a 16-year-old classmate said the older student had spoken about the Columbine attack several times throughout the school year.
April 20 was the 18th anniversary of the attack. The older student told the younger one that he had ordered explosives. He also described what kind of guns he would use and said he would "make Columbine look like a joke."
The 17-year-old was detained on charges of conspiracy to possess a firearm on school property. Reportedly, his home was also searched and law enforcement seized a computer, a hockey mask, documents and an Xbox game console. Law enforcement said the 16-year-old was not attending the school any longer but had no further information on his status.
While the court system generally acknowledges that juveniles are less responsible for their actions than adults, not every offense will automatically be removed from a juvenile's records when they turn 18. In extreme cases, a juvenile may even be tried as an adult. However, there may be a number of defense options available. Some cases may be dismissed if the juvenile's rights were not observed or if the evidence is insufficient. It might also be possible to get charges and penalties reduced. An attorney may be able to work with a child and their parents to decide what the best strategy is for juvenile defense.