March 8, 2006
The four teens plotting to blow up two Albemale County schools faced trial today, which was closed to the media. One teen pleaded guilty and the three others faced trial for allegedly plotting to carry out threats on two Albemarle County schools.
All four teens are charged with planning to use guns and explosives to commit murder and blow up Western Albemarle and Albemarle High Schools.
The judge closed to trial to the media and the public to protect the privacy of two of the teens who are under the age of 14.
The Albemarle County Commonwealth Attorney tells us it was the 16-year-old Western Albemarle student who pleaded guilty to the felony charges against him.
“The fact that one pleads doesn't necessarily mean that makes the case better against than the other three. Sometimes it can have a positive affect from the point of the Commonwealth but not all the time,” said Albemarle County Commonwealth Attorney Jim Camblos.
The teens - all friends but from different schools - allegedly planned the threats in an internet chat room. Before the hearing was closed, attorneys mentioned the kids confessions may be brought up at trial.
"There are taped audio/video statements from each of the individuals that are subject to being admitted as evidence if the proper foundation is made, said Camblos.
The judge heard arguments from the teen’s attorneys all afternoon but no witnesses were called in this case.
“We had a lot of witnesses here, we had a lot of people waiting with their parents, a lot of young adults with their parents waiting, [and] it was very frustrating for all concerned. It really wasn’t anybody's fault--it was just one of those things. It just got delayed and delayed,” said Camblos
The trial is set to continue on March 17th. The 16-year-old who plead guilty today will be sentenced in April. He could face probation, or be held until the age of 21.