Kansas students charged in alleged plot
Oldest suspect under house arrest, but 4 others stay in custody
YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS
COLUMBUS, Kansas (CNN) -- The oldest of five students charged in what prosecutors call a failed plot at a Kansas high school can be released under house arrest after his parents post a $50,000 bond, the judge ruled during a hearing Monday afternoon.
The four younger defendants, who were also in court for a hearing Monday, will remain in custody until a May 3 hearing to determine their status, the judge ruled.
A 15-year-old, two 16-year-olds, a 17-year-old and the 18-year-old -- all students at Riverton High School -- were arrested last week after school officials saw an entry on the Internet site mySpace.com that hinted there might be some kind of plot in the works involving guns at the school.
The five were initially charged with criminal threat and incitement of a riot, felonies that carry penalties of less than two years in prison, but the prosecutor said more serious charges may be added as evidence is gathered.
The prosecutor said he has not decided if he will seek to charge the juveniles as adults.
CNN is not using the names of the four younger defendants, but the 18-year-old has been identified by the attorney general's office as Coy New.
When New's parents said in court that they had not hired a lawyer, the judge appointed one to defend him.
Before reducing New's bond from $500,000 to $50,000, the judge asked the defendant if he had ever been in legal trouble before. He answered no.
Riverton Schools Administration Superintendent David Walters told CNN last week that the school launched an investigation after a staff member mentioned that references to April 20, flak jackets and Riverton High School were made on the Internet site mySpace.com. The references provided no details or names, he said.
Walters notified police, and on Wednesday afternoon Cherokee County police told the school they had detected some Internet communication between a Riverton High student and someone in North Carolina making the same references.
Thursday was the seventh anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre in Littleton, Colorado. Twelve students and one teacher died when students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold walked through the school shooting. Harris and Klebold then took their own lives.
In Alaska, meanwhile, classes resumed Monday at North Pole Middle School, with officials saying police would walk the halls after the arrest of six seventh-graders suspected of planning a deadly attack. (Full story)
CNN's Keith Oppenheim contributed to this report.
|© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.