A Plan To Murder Bullies


Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #110Whether it’s a case of school violence or about bullying, the two crimes are often connected. When bullying goes unreported it becomes he said/she said and too often the victim becomes the criminal.

In my opinion, parents and grandparents should continuously talk about bullying with children and stress it’s okay to speak up, in fact, it’s imperative.

BLOG POST #110: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving two high school boys and their plan to kill.

Two boys, a 14 and a 15-year-old made a plan to kill faculty and students at their high school.

Loose Lips Foil Plans

Thankfully, kids talk. The two boys had to have said something to someone who took their intentions seriously and told the school administration. The school administration detained the two boys and searched their backpacks.

Found in the backpacks were detailed plans and evidence showing the two had conducted surveillance of specific staff members to know where they would be at the time of the event.

Vigilance Required In The Lunchroom

Both boys’ homes were searched. The boys had gathered fireworks, gunpowder, and fuses to make pipe bombs. They had planned to hide a duffel bag at the school filled with guns, ammo, bombs, gas masks, and chloride gas to be readily available. The attack was to take place during lunch time.

It was a plan of revenge for being bullied by staff members and classmates.

From my research, attacks are often planned to take place at lunch. It’s my assumption the targeted kids are expected to be together at that time. Whereas at any other time of the school day, the kids would be in classes.

Upon entering the lunch hall, the first victim would have been the resource officer (campus security). The principal was on the list as well. Knowing the school would go into lockdown mode, they planned to bring an ax to bust into locked classrooms.

Formative Years Lost

While being transported to the law enforcement center, the older boy told an officer he was glad they were stopped before anything happened.

Both teens pleaded no contest to the charge of conspiracy to commit capital murder. No contest in juvenile court is the same as guilty in adult court.

At the sentencing hearing, the principal asked for a “very severe penalty,” contending the teen’s actions “created fear, anxiety, and disruptions for thousands of students and staff.”

The judge sentenced both boys to serve three years and nine months in juvenile custody, followed by three years of aftercare.

If you found this case interesting, you’ll also want to read, Planned Attack at the Middle School, where a 12-year-old had a similar plan.

What do you think about this case? Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.


Thanks for reading!


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When Bullying Turned Deadly

Blog Post #95

Thank you taking the time to read my post. Time is precious and we all have few minutes to spare. I try to keep my posts short.

Does it seem like bullying is out of control or is it just getting more press time? Either way, it needs to stop!

Armed with knowledge and determination, parents can make schools safer.

BLOG POST #95: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving several high school students.

Girl High School Students are Bullied More Often than Boys

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2015, 24.8% female high school students reported being bullied while at school, 15.8% of their male counterparts.

Boys Can Be Just as Mean as Girls

The victim was 16, an honor roll student, a basketball player, and a Junior ROTC cadet. His first job was at 14. He bought his first car, a BMW, with his money.

During his sophomore year, he gained weight. Students began to bully and tease him. He started skipping classes, his grades dropped, and he became truant.

Teenagers Have Underdeveloped Coping Skills

Rather than seeking treatment from the therapy his family had arranged he self-medicated with marijuana. He went from an outgoing teenager who always laughed about something and had lots of friends, to the kind of teenager who commanded respect from his former bullies.

There was a disagreement between the 16-year-old and another teenager. The other teen asked his two older brothers to help him ambush and rob the 16-year-old. The 16-year-old was lured away from school on the pretense of a drug deal. He went to a path, named ‘The Cut,’ which many kids used to walk from a nearby neighborhood, where they could park for free, to the school. The school had pay-to-park lots.

The older boys jumped the 16-year-old from behind and shot him six times. The victim fell to the ground where he was rolled over and shot again in the head, execution style. The 20-year-old gunman was arrested and later pleaded guilty to first-degree murder. Two of the three other teens involved were charged with Conspiracy to Commit a Felony.

The county attorney said, “When you get involved in the drug culture, anything can happen, including this.”

Action or Reaction? You Can’t Take it Back

The 20-year-old was sentenced to 75-years in prison with 25-years suspended. The 20-year-old did accept responsibility for his actions and gave a statement at his sentencing. In part, he said, “To my mother and [the victim’s] mother, I owe my greatest apologies to both of you. There is no excuse for my actions. I wish I could take it all back.”

What are your thoughts on this case? Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading!



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Last Day of School

last-day-of-school-fbBLOG POST #88: Do you remember your last day of 7th grade? I don’t. This week, I’m sharing some of my research on a young man who will never forget his last day of 7th grade.

Early on the last day of school, the 13-year-old, mild mannered and likable honor roll student gave a bouquet of flowers to a girl he liked. Later, he and a friend were suspended for the rest of the day for their involvement in a water balloon fight. He left the school angry with the counselor for suspending him.

He went home and retrieved a .25 caliber handgun he’d stolen from his grandfather’s home the previous weekend. Determined to say goodbye to the girl he liked, he hopped on his bicycle, and rode back to school. He knocked on the classroom door. When the teacher opened the door, the teen asked to speak with the girl. The teacher unaware of the suspension calmly told him to go back to class.

The 13-year-old shot the teacher in the head and then ran from the classroom brandishing his weapon at another teacher on his way outside. He was arrested without resistance and charged as an adult. A jury found him guilty of second-degree murder for killing the teacher and aggravated assault with a firearm for pointing the weapon at the other teacher as he fled.

In closing arguments, the Assistant State Attorney said, “This is not the act of a child. This is the act of a person determined to get what he wants at all cost.”

His sentence was 33-years in state prison with credit for time served to await his trial.

At the sentencing, his mother blamed herself for creating a negative home environment for her son. A family consumed by domestic violence and alcoholism.  To make matters worse, she had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Worth mentioning: While in prison, he’s earned his GED, and law clerk and paralegal certifications. Eight years into his 33-year sentence, his mother died.

What do you think about this case? I didn’t get the sense the teen planned the shooting; it was more a reaction to not getting what he wanted. But, the last day of school was on a Friday, so why did he steal his grandfather’s gun the weekend before?

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Trigger Word

trigger-word-fbBLOG POST #82: Hold on tight and be forewarned, this week the research topic is gruesome.

The crime occurred in the fall of 2013. Security video showed the 24-year-old high school math teacher leave her classroom and innocently walked down the hall to a female restroom. The video also showed the 14-year-old male student leave the same classroom, pull his hoody onto his head and follow the math teacher into the restroom.

The student hit the teacher which rendered her unconscious and then using a box cutter he stabbed her sixteen times in the neck and then slit her throat. He denied sexually abusing her; however the autopsy proved he did.

Twelve minutes after the student entered the restroom, he exited wearing a ski mask. Security video showed he returned with a recycling receptacle. Twenty-seven minutes after the young teacher entered the restroom; her body is inside the recycling receptacle. Still wearing the ski mask, the student dragged the receptacle to a wooded area behind the school.

After disposing of the teacher’s body, the teen used her credit card to attend a movie and purchase fast food.

The authorities received two seemingly unrelated calls for missing people that day. At first, the officers who found the missing teen were not aware the two missing people cases were connected. When the teen’s backpack was searched and the items found were bloody, they suspected the teen had been involved in a crime.

The teen’s mother was present for a portion of the interrogation; the teen didn’t want his mother in the room. During the interrogation, the teen admitted to killing his teacher. He sketched a diagram of where on her body he stabbed her and a map of where he had disposed of her body.

The teen was arrested and sent to a youth services detention facility. Because of his age, there were concerns about whether the teen had been properly Mirandized. In 2015, he went to trial and was found guilty of First Degree Murder, Rape, and Armed Robbery.

Here’s something I’ve not seen before in the course of my research: Prior to the sentencing hearing the defense attorney requested the judge restrict the wearing of pink clothing (the victim’s favorite color) to only her family. She felt the courtroom was no place for displays of sentiment or emotion. Of course the District Attorney disagreed. The judge ruled pink could be worn by anyone except government officials, members of the district attorney’s office and police officers.

The teen was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole after 25-years for the murder conviction (the most possible for someone his age) and 40-years each for the other two convictions, all to be served concurrently. The judge purposely set the sentences for the rape and armed robbery convictions for longer than the murder conviction so that his first opportunity for parole would be after 40-years rather than 25-years.

When the teen was asked why he killed his teacher, he said she had insulted him and used a ‘trigger word’. He never said what the ‘trigger word’ was.

Worth mention: While awaiting trial for the murder of his teacher, and while at the youth services detention facility the teen followed a female counselor into a restroom. He assaulted her by choking her and beating her face and head. The counselor survived the attack. He’s not yet been to trial for the attempted murder of the female counselor.

It’s my firm belief that children with the capability to do what this student did, do exhibit warning signs either at home or school or both. What are your thoughts on this case?

Do you know of a school crime that you feel others should be made aware of – send me an email and we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading!


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Gangs in Schools

gangs-in-schools-fbBLOG POST #81: This week I’m sharing my research on a criminal case involving gang activity in a Texas high school. There wasn’t a clear link that two rival gangs were involved.

Before school began, students gathered in the cafeteria. A fight between two boys broke out, one boy staggered from the cafeteria and collapsed in the hallway. Some students attempted to carry him to the front to await emergency responders. He died before help arrived.

It was reported that the fight began after two boys bumped shoulders in passing. It was also reported one of the boys was a member of a local gang. The boy reported to be a gang member used a pocket knife and stabbed the victim numerous times in his abdomen.

A fight occurred the previous day, the fight in the cafeteria may have been retribution, however, the victim was not involved in the previous day’s incident so it’s possible his death was a case of mistaken identity.

The high school was not equipped with metal detectors. A quick search of their website showed the school still does not have metal detectors, most schools. What I thought was amiss was no mention of how student safety is addressed.

Both boys, in this case, were 17-years-old at the time. One is deceased and one is in his second year of a 20-year prison sentence for manslaughter. The jury considered murder with a life sentence, but believed there was no premeditation in the crime. The prison inmate will be eligible for parole after 10-years.

At the sentencing, Assistant District Attorney Johnson said, “Gang violence has gotten out of control… I don’t think the school understood how rampant this has been.”

Here’s another post involving gang activity you may have missed: Why Was A Middle School Student Fleeing The Country?

I admit knowing very little about gangs or gang activity. I attended a Citizen’s Academy program through my county’s sheriff department. Every class was interesting, especially the presentation on gangs. If you’re interested in knowing more about gang tattoos, check out the National Gang Center newsletter-2016-summer.

What are your thoughts on gangs in school and how schools can stay vigilant?

Thanks for reading!


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