Trial Begins For 11-Year-Old Colville Student Accused Of Murder Plot
by Dylan Wohlenhaus, KHQ Local News Reporter - email
The trial of a Colville Elementary School student got underway in Colville on Thursday. Prosecutors say the boy and a friend planned a school shooting, among other crimes, but were caught when a classmate saw their weapons and contacted school officials.
KHQ Local News Reporter Dylan Wohlenhaus was in the courtroom Thursday and described the scene as a "surreal sight" as the 11-year-old suspect sat next to his attorney.
Three 11-year-old witnesses gave testimony about the gruesome details of the alleged murder plot while riding the school bus..
One witness said, "I think he mentioned, I'm pretty sure he mentioned handcuffs & raping."
Another witness said he was told the elaborate plan by the 11-year-old suspect in court Thursday and said the two boys offered him money to stay quiet.
This witness also told the court he "felt sorry" the suspect in court because he got teased a lot in school by the girl who he is accused of wanting to kill. The defense hammered that point home in court to presumably create some sympathy for the 11-year-old on trial.
A case worker who worked very closely with the 11-year-old suspect offered some insight into mind of the boy, some of it she described as very strange. The defense seized on that opportunity to show the mental heath issues they say he deals with. That's part of their strategy.
The case worker, Melanie Youker, worked very closely with the 11-year-old boy after he was taken in to custody. She describes him as a troubled boy who constantly felt he was being picked on in this incident at a juvenile detention center.
During her testimony, Youker stated, "I'm standing right next to Chris & the youth walked by and he said 'see, you see he just called me this name.' I said, 'he didn't even open his mouth.' He says 'oh yea he did I saw it.' I knew this youth had not. But he believed it."
Youker also went on to explain that the boy also had told her what he said one of his secrets was. That is he believed he morphed into what he called his "wolf body" when he went to sleep at night. She also said he associated numbers and words with people.
"The words would tell him things about the person. The numbers were how trustworthy the range of how he could trust somebody," Youker said on the stand.
Prosecutors pointed out that the 11-year-old suspect told the case worker he had no mental issues, neither did anyone in his family.
The defense will be calling a medical expert to the stand on Friday.
This is not a jury trial, so what happens to the boy after all of the testimony is all up to the judge and for him to decide if he's guilty.
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