COLVILLE, Wash.-- Two Colville boys accused of plotting to harm seven of their classmates made another appearance in court Friday.
The hearing was to determine if the fifth graders were competent enough to stand trial. They are accused of bringing a knife, a gun, and ammunition to Fort Colville Elementary School to kill their classmates.
The Stevens County Judge said children between the ages of 8 and 12 don’t have the capacity to commit crimes and that presumption can be overcome by concise evidence.
Court documents showed that the boys confessed to plotting to hurt their classmates, including one of the boy's girlfriends. The plan was foiled when another student saw a knife fall from one of the suspect’s backpacks while getting off the school bus. The boy told teachers who quickly took action. A school counselor told the court one of the suspects became agitated when confronted about the plot, stomping his feet and swinging his arms.
The disciplinarian at the Fort Colville Elementary School took the stand later in the morning. He testified that one suspect was not bothered by the fact that someone may have been killed the day the students allegedly brought the weapons to school.
A Colville police officer then took the stand. He told the court he asked one of the suspects if he knew that killing his girlfriend would be wrong and against the law. He said the suspect replied, "Yes, I wanted her dead."
Prosecutors must prove both boys knew what they were doing was wrong; that includes the nature of the crime, the child’s age and maturity, whether the suspects showed a desire for secrecy, whether they told a victim not to tell, any similar prior conduct, if that conduct brought any consequences, and whether the boys acknowledged their behavior was wrong.