Teen Says Shooting Plot Was 'Joke', Is Found Guilty

Sammie Chavez didn't convince the jury
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 25, 2013 9:29 AM CDT
Teen Says Shooting Plot Was 'Joke', Is Found Guilty
This Dec. 17, 2012 handout file photo provided by the Washington County, Okla. Sheriff's Office shows Sammie Eaglebear Chavez.   ((AP Photo/Washington County Sheriff's Office, File))

A teenager who authorities say tried to recruit classmates for a mass shooting and bomb attack at his school in Bartlesville, Okla., has been convicted in a plot to kill students, teachers, and police officers. A jury found 19-year-old Sammie Eaglebear Chavez guilty of planning to cause bodily harm and recommended a 30-month prison term and $5,000 fine. But the jury found him not guilty of conspiring to perform an act of violence.

Chavez had pleaded not guilty and testified in his own defense that he was joking when he told classmates of his plan; prosecutors said Chavez intended to lure students into the school's auditorium, chain the doors shut and place bombs near them, and shoot the students. "It was a joke in the sense that it wasn't meant seriously," he told jurors, though he admitted he was "angry at the world." When police arrested him in December (hours before the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary), they found notes in his pockets saying that "those who deserve to die will be killed," and that survivors "will be forced to witness it." Chavez said the notes were a way "to release feelings of anger." (Read more Sammie Eaglebear Chavez stories.)

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