Death Journal

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

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

Robin Lyons blogBLOG POST #193: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific crime involving two 17-year-old high school students.

All it takes is an anonymous call and an astute Sheriff’s Office to thwart a potential school attack.

The tipster had seen one of the student’s journal entries detailing the plot against their school. Much of the evidence presented in court came from the students’ journals. Both teens had an obsession with the Columbine High School shooting and the perpetrators.

They rode the same bus, were friends at school, and communicated through social media. Another classmate said the two didn’t seem to have friends.

Disturbing Posts

Disturbing social media posts had been happening for two years. Sadly, the posts, seen by others, received “likes.” Often teenagers’ friends don’t think threats will be carried out—until it goes down. At the sentencing hearing, the female’s relatives didn’t believe she would have harmed any of her classmates. A classmate was reported to have said nobody took the male student seriously when he joked about school shootings.

The female and a male student both posted content on social media about depression, suicide, death, and weapons. The male posted a selfie and wrote #jeffreydahmer (the serial killer).

Along with the plot and kill list found in the journals were also racists comments, drawn swastikas, and slurs against disabled people. Officers also seized the materials to make bombs.

Sorry-Not Sorry

At the court hearing where the two entered their plea, the female student admitted they want to have bigger “numbers’ than the Las Vegas shooting where 58 people were killed. She also said when they wrote the plan, it was fictional but over time became a real plan to kill.

They pleaded guilty to six counts of conspiracy to commit murder (people on the hit list), one count of conspiracy to commit arson and one count of unlawful possession of a destructive device.

Severe Consequences

The judge sentenced them each to 20 years in prison. Ten years served and probation for ten years. In addition to their prison sentence, the judge banned them from the county, banned them from contacting each other, and banned them from contacting the people on the hit list or their families.

A few weeks ago, I shared research on a similar case in a different state where the boys received 24-month and 27-month sentences. The courts aren’t messing around. There are severe consequences for threats made against schools—it doesn’t matter if the threat was real or a prank. Post #191 – Dumb Stunt

And back in February 2019, I shared research on a case in a different state from the case reference in this post, and the one mentioned previously, where a boy made a threat on social media, he received a two-year prison sentence. Post #176 – Inducing Panic

What are your thoughts about this case? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools. Your relevant comments are always welcome on the Research Blog.

Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

Sources: Cherokee Tribune & Ledger-News, Newsweek, Fox 5 Atlanta, CBS News, Marietta Daily Journal, Heavy.com

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