Hearing For Colville Boys Who ‘Intended To Kill’ Classmates Dela - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Hearing For Colville Boys Who ‘Intended To Kill’ Classmates Delayed

COLVILLE, Wash. – The court proceedings against two boys, age 10 and 11, who brought weapons to school and are accused of intending to kill seven of their fellow classmates has been delayed until next month. 

According to Washington State law, children age 8-12 are not capable of committing crimes.  Wednesday's hearing in a Stevens County courtroom was a competency hearing to determine whether the boys understood what they were doing, and therefore, should be held responsible. 

But a decision was never made. 

Defense lawyers argued, "boys' lives are on the line," that they needed more time for a mental health evaluation, and that the case was too complex to rush it.  Prosecutors and the Judge agreed to move the hearing to March 15th.  Testimony at that hearing is expected to last all day. 

Defense lawyers also asked the judge to make the hearing private, however the judge argued that there is a presumption the proceedings will be public, that media have respected his orders not to identify or videotape the suspects, and that the defense counsel would have to provide case law to support that request. 

One woman in attendance who sat next to KHQ's Kelsey Watts said she had come to pray, both for the community and the students. 

The plot to kill classmates was uncovered on February 7th, just hours before it was set to unfold, when a student at Fort Colville Elementary saw a knife fall out of the 10-year-old suspect's backpack and reported it to staff.  It was then discovered the 3 ¼" knife wasn't the only weapon there; a .45 caliber Remington 1911 semi automatic handgun and a clip of ammunition were also found. 

Records show the 10-year-old admitted to staff he and the 11-year-old suspect had brought the weapons to school with the primary intent of killing a girl student, and also provided a list of six other students they intended to kill. 

"(The 10-year-old) was going to be the shooter, and I was going to be the knifer," the 11-year-old suspect told police, indicating he was going to stab and kill the girl, while his co-defendant held the gun to keep people from interfering. 

Court documents also show one of their friends knew about the plot, but that the suspects were going to pay him off to keep him quiet, at a price of $80. 

"My jaw just dropped [when I heard about the plot]," student teacher Keeta Paccerelli told KHQ.  "I think I was in shock for a few minutes.  These guys are 10 and 11 years old!  What has happened to make them so angry that they would want to kill in such a brutal way?" 

Paccerelli is a student teacher who has worked inside Fort Colville Elementary where the plot was to be carried out, and is set to return there this fall to teach 5th graders. 

"I don't think teachers or students should have to go to school and worry about, ‘Am I going to die today?'" she said, adding that she's been taught teachers are guardians.  "I couldn't stand by and watch – I would have to put myself in harms way, and if it means death, I'm ready to go that step.  I don't want to, but I will, because they're innocent children." 

She was just one of about 50 people who packed the courtroom Wednesday, as the two boys were bought in wearing handcuffs and sat beside their respective lawyers, saying nothing. 

Paccerelli was also at last week's hearing, and says from what she's seen, the boys charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, tampering with a witness and conspiracy to possess a firearm are showing no remorse. 

"They looked at each other and snickered like it was no big deal," she added. 

She says her heart goes out to the families of the accused, and the families of the students who were named in the murder plot.  But above all, she's grateful to the 4th grader who saw something suspicious and reported it, potentially saving the lives of seven of his classmates. 

"For him to come forward and do something like that – I just want to say you are such a wonderful child," she said, with tears nearly in her eyes.

KHQ reached out to the families of both suspects.  One did not return our call, the other said, "This is a very difficult time for us, and I hope you can respect our privacy."

 

 

 

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