April 19, 2006
An Albemarle County teen is handed the maximum sentence Wednesday for plotting to blow up two Albemarle County high schools.
It’s been said this teen may have been the mastermind behind the plans to attack students.
The 16-year-old Western Albemarle high school student pleaded guilty to the charges and today learned he may spend the rest of his young adult life behind bars.
“It's the highest sentence they could give to the juvenile and there was nothing lesser offered by them,” said Albemarle County Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Darby Lowe.
Defense attorneys did not argue against the sentence. They just asked he be given appropriate treatment.
“They did not have any argument other than the appropriateness of commitment in this situation,” said Lowe.
Now the juvenile justice system will recommend whether the teen be held until he is 21. On June 7 the judge will review the recommendation and decide how long he will spend in jail.
“The Commonwealth's position is that commitment is the right alternative because it ensures the security and safety of the community and then it will also address punishment and rehabilitation for the juvenile,” said Lowe.
This 16-year-old is just one of four teens guilty of plotting to use explosives and guns to attack their fellow students. A 15-year-old charged in this case was sentenced to the same fate last week.
“These juveniles both being prevented from the harm that they may have caused and also preventing future harm and in that regard those ends have been met,” said Lowe.
The Commonwealth and police both feel as if they have prevented something terrible from happening in our schools and tonight they say they are confident that our students are now safe.
The sentences of the two t13-year-olds in this case will not be released because of their age.