Boy, 11, sentenced for plotting to kill classmate

COLVILLE — An 11-year-old northeast Washington boy found guilty of plotting to kill a girl in his fifth-grade class was sentenced Wednesday to three to four years in juvenile detention.

The boy was convicted last month of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.

During a lengthy hearing, Stevens County Superior Court Judge Allen Nielson called the boy’s actions “a brazen crime,” The Spokesman-Review reported. The judge said he found cause for an extended sentence.

The boy’s actions after the plot was discovered amounted to a “shrewd effort” to pin evidence on his co-defendant, a 10-year-old male classmate, Nielson added.

The younger boy pleaded guilty earlier to conspiracy to commit murder and related charges. He was sentenced to three to five years in a juvenile detention facility.

At Fort Colville Elementary School, staff discovered the plan after a fourth-grader saw one of the boys playing with a knife aboard a school bus and told a school employee what he’d seen. A search of the 10-year-old’s backpack found a knife, a .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol and a full ammunition magazine, court records showed.

During the 11-year-old’s trial, school counselor Debbie Rogers testified about her interview with him on the day the gun and knife were discovered. The boy said he was planning to stab the girl to death because she was “really annoying” and the second boy was to point the gun at anyone who tried to intervene, Rogers said.

Rogers said she saw no evidence that the older boy was experiencing delusions that day.

The counselor’s interview provided sufficient evidence to prove the two boys had developed a plan and were ready to carry it out when the weapons were found, the judge said.

A defense lawyer has said an appeal is planned.

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