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Minnesota teen stopped before executing murder plot

Many teenagers in Wisconsin engage in high-risk behaviors. There are some teens who are simply thrill-seekers looking for an adventure. Others participate in more dangerous juvenile crimes, unaware of the long-term consequences of their actions. Expert studies show that the teenage brain is still developing, especially in the areas that control aggressive behavior and make rational decisions. For a rare few, a combination of environmental and psychological factors may end in disaster.

One such Minnesota teen, who gained inspiration from well-known school shootings including Columbine and Virginia Tech, had formulated a detailed plot to murder his family, set fires, detonate strategically placed bombs at a middle and high school and kill a school liaison officer. The teenager was in the process of constructing the bombs when he was apprehended by law enforcement officers. He had already acquired the ammunition and firearms for the scheme. He told officers that he wanted to kill as many students as possible during the tirade.

Officers believe that the 17-year-old teen would have carried out the plot within the next week or two if he had not been detained. His plans were carefully constructed in a notebook, which was found locked away in his room. He is currently facing six counts of possessing explosive devices, four counts of attempted first-degree murder, and two counts of first-degree criminal damage to property.

A police investigation led officers to the teenager after he had placed multiple explosive devices on the Hartley Elementary School playground. Luckily, no one was injured from those bombs.

Teenagers who create, plan and prepare for such an extensive crime often undergo a comprehensive mental evaluation before standing trial. A criminal defense attorney can be helpful in providing essential legal aid to juveniles charged with varying degrees of criminal activity.

Source: KARE 11, “Waseca teen charged in alleged school massacre plot,” Jana Shortal, May 1, 2014.

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