Teens accused of plotting school murders

One Haines girl arrested; other girl held for psychiatric evaluation after list of targets found

Posted: Monday, October 14, 2002

Haines police charged one teenage girl and detained another after they allegedly passed notes spelling out how and where they would kill 22 of their Haines High School classmates and teachers.

A note found Friday by school administrators contained a list of the people they planned to murder.

A 15-year-old girl was arrested and charged with first-degree conspiracy to commit murder, an unclassified felony. She was lodged at the Johnson Youth Center in Juneau.

A 14-year-old girl, an alleged co-conspirator, was taken to Bartlett Regional Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation, said Haines Police Chief Greg Goodman. Conspiracy charges will be filed against the younger girl once she is released from the hospital, Goodman said. She was admitted, he said, because police believed she was a suicide risk.

The girls' names were not released.

Haines High School Principal Charlie Jones said everyone on the girls' list was notified about the note as a precaution.

"Parents have been calling into the office and their No. 1 concern is whether their child is on the list or not," said Jones. "We're telling them that unless they got a call from us they are not on the list. We are doing everything we can to make sure the school is safe."

Goodman said charges stem from a note, allegedly written by one of the girls, listing three people in the school they were going to kill. School officials found the note around 12:30 p.m. Friday on a desk near a faculty member's office. The girls were in custody by 3:45 p.m., Goodman said.

"The note was very threatening in nature and detailed," said Goodman. "(It said) how the girls were going to do it, where they were going to do it and names they needed to add to the list. They also talked about changing the order in which they killed them all. ... We took the note very seriously."

Goodman declined to release details of how the girls allegedly planned to commit the murders.

Police also obtained a journal belonging to the 14-year-old containing 19 additional names of potential victims. Haines High School has 115 students.

The girls allegedly hatched their plan in a series of notes passed to each other at school, Goodman said. Police said the girls had a suicide pact school faculty "had been trying to deal with for some time."

The note did not indicate a reason for the proposed killing spree, Goodman said. Police said they plan to interview people on the alleged death list today to determine a possible motive.

Members of the Juneau District Attorney's office were at a conference today and could not be reached for comment to determine whether the girls would be tried as adults or juveniles.

Melanie Plenda can be reached at mplenda@juneauempire.com.

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