Judge Finds 11-Year-Old Boy Guilty In School Murder Plot - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

UPDATE: Judge Finds 11-Year-Old Boy Guilty In School Murder Plot

An 11-year-old boy has been found guilty of Conspiracy to Commit 1st Degree Murder, in the plot to kill classmates that was foiled just hours before it was to take place on February 7th at Fort Colville Elementary.

Judge Allen Neilson handed down his verdict Friday afternoon at the end of a two-day trial at the Stevens County Courthouse. He called it the "most serious case of his career" given the gravity of the charges and the young age of the defendants.

The boy is accused of conspiring with his 10-year-old friend to kill a fellow 5th grade girl because she was "annoying." The plot was uncovered when another student saw a knife fall out of one of their backpacks and told a teacher. Along with the knife, a gun and full ammunition clip were also found. A "kill list" was later discovered naming six other students they wanted to kill.

Another student later testified he was offered money to stay quiet once he learned of the boys' plan.

The 10-year-old boy was sentenced back in May to 3-5 years in juvenile corrections after being found guilty on all three counts: Conspiracy to Commit 1st Degree Murder, Tampering with a Witness and Conspiracy to Possess a Firearm.

But the case surrounding the 11-year-old has taken longer to run its course through the judicial system because there was some question as to his mental health.

The defense had entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, but withdrew that plea Friday morning and focused instead on "diminished capacity."

In court Friday, a defense psychologist testified the 11-year-old boy has childhood bi-polar disorder and has delusional thoughts that often blur the lines between fantasy and reality. For instance, the boy imagined himself as a wolf or Peter Parker from Spiderman and said he saw numbers that related to how trustworthy a person was.

However, prosecutors argued there was not enough evidence to prove a mental disorder and that on February 7th none of those fantasies were incorporated into the very real murder plot.

In the end, the judge found the evidence for conviction on the Conspiracy to Commit 1st Degree Murder charge was beyond a reasonable doubt; however he found the 11-year-old boy not guilty of Tampering with a Witness and threw out the third charge of Conspiracy to Possess a Weapon.

When court was adjourned the boy's grandparents were in tears and wrapped their arms around him before the three quickly left the courtroom. The defense asked that the boy be allowed to stay at home pending sentencing, but the judge remanded him to juvenile custody.

Defense attorney Don Richter told KHQ's Kelsey Watts he "respected the judge's decision but was deeply disappointed" and will be filing an appeal before the boy is set to be sentenced on November 8th.

Previous Coverage: 

A Colville judge has found an 11-year-old boy guilty of conspiracy to commit 1st Degree Murder in a plot to kill a classmate. 

Prior to that verdict, the judge found the boy not guilty of Tampering With a Witness. 

The defense attorney told KHQ's Kelsey Watts that he respects the judge's decision, but is deeply disappointed and will be filing an appeal soon. 

This story is developing and we will update it as soon as we get any additional information. 

Watch KHQ Local News at 5 & 6 for the very latest. 

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