SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - The effort to prosecute two boys, ages 10 and 11, for allegedly bringing weapons to a Colville school in a plot to kill a classmate is posing some legal challenges because the suspects are so young.
The state's criminal justice system presumes that children below the age of 12 do not have the capacity to understand they are planning to commit crimes.
Stevens County Prosecutor Tim Rasmussen says a judge can allow prosecutors to pursue criminal charges in juvenile court for children between the ages of 8 and 12, but only if prosecutors can show the youths understood the difference between right and wrong.
That capacity hearing is set for Feb. 20 in Colville, about 75 miles north of Spokane.
COLVILLE, Wash. (AP) - Court documents give chilling details about the
plans of two fifth-graders from Colville to kill a girl classmate and
possibly others on the day they were caught with a knife and gun in
school last week.
The court documents were released Wednesday.
The Spokesman-Review reports that the boys, ages 10 and 11, remain in custody on charges of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, tampering with a witness and conspiracy to possess a firearm after they were arrested last Thursday.
Under Washington law, children ages 8 to 12 are presumed not to have the mental capacity to form the intent to commit crime.
But Deputy Prosecutor Lech Radzimski will present the court records to a judge on Feb. 20 to try to show why law enforcement officials believe they have enough evidence to overcome that presumption.
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