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Archive for Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Two of five teens arrested in school shooting plot to be tried as juveniles

July 11, 2006

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— Two of the teens charged in an alleged school shooting plot in Riverton will be tried as juveniles, a spokesman for the attorney general's office said.

Judge Robert Fleming granted prosecutors' request Monday to withdraw its motion to prosecute Caleb Byrd, 16, as an adult, said Jan Lunsford, spokesman for the attorney general's office.

Fleming also granted Assistant Atty. Gen. Andrew Bauch's request to withdraw a motion to prosecute Andrew Jaeger, 15, as an adult, pending completion of a psychological evaluation.

Fleming removed Byrd and Jaeger from house arrest but placed the boys under a strict 9 p.m. curfew. Their parents are required to know where they are at all times.

Their next hearing date has not been set.

Five teenagers were arrested April 20 - the seventh anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre in Colorado - after a message about an alleged plot to attack Riverton High School appeared on the Web site Myspace.com.

Today, Robert Hunt, 17, and James Tillman, 16, are scheduled to appear before Fleming to determine whether they also will be tried as adults or in the juvenile system.

The outcome of psychological evaluations on Hunt and Tillman will likely determine whether they stand trial as adults, Lunsford said. The evaluations are part of the process for certifying juveniles when they face charges.

Tillman, who is being held without bond, is charged in juvenile court with one count of incitement to riot, one count of making a criminal threat and one count of solicitation to commit first-degree murder.

The four other youths face one count of incitement to riot and one count of making a criminal threat.

Charles "Coy" New, 18, is being tried as an adult. His preliminary hearing is set for 9 a.m. Aug. 9.

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