Quartz Hill plotter gets 5 years

Five years in CYA for student in bomb plot:

Johnny Alvarez Casas was sentenced to 5 years with time served to a juvenile detention center. Casas had pleaded no contest to plotting an attack on Quartz Hill High School in California. He took the 5 year plea rather than risking a 25 to life sentence if found guilty. His attorney describes Casas as a “sweet dumb kid” with an IQ of 70. I’m sorry but sweet dumb kids don’t put “WHEN IM GOD EVERYONE WILL DIE!!!” on their MySpace. Casas will be eligible for parole this November. I wonder what his cohort thinks of that since he was sentenced to 8 years. I have the feeling that once Casas gets out we’ll be hearing from him again.

Casas pleads not guilty

Teen Enters Plea To Conspiracy Charge In Columbine-Style Attack Plan:

The older suspect in the plot to attack Quartz Hill High in California entered his plea today…

LOS ANGELES — The older of two teens accused of plotting a Columbine High-type attack at Quartz Hill High School on Valentine’s Day pleaded not guilty Monday to conspiracy to commit murder and a related charge.

Johnny Alvarez Casas, now 18, is also charged with possessing the ingredients to make a destructive device.

Casas — who was 17 at the time of the alleged plot — is being tried as an adult. He remains in custody pending an Aug. 16 pretrial hearing in Lancaster Superior Court.

Casas and another teen allegedly planned to set off a bomb at the high school where they had previously been enrolled.

I think this is the fourth time he’s entered a plea. All not guilty.

Casas held over for trial

Teen Suspected of Plotting Columbine-Style Attack to Stand Trial:

LANCASTER, June 30, 2006 – One of two teens accused of plotting a Columbine-style Valentine’s Day attack at an Antelope Valley high school was ordered Thursday to stand trial on felony charges.

Lancaster Superior Court Judge Christopher Estes found sufficient evidence to bound Johnny Alvarez Casas over for trial on charges of conspiracy to commit a crime and possession of ingredients to make a destructive device.

Casas, now 18, is due back in court July 17 for arraignment.

Quartz Hill suspect appeals adult status

Suspect seeks juvenile status:

Johnny Alvarez Casas, the then 17-year-old suspect in the Quartz Hill High plot, is planning to appeal the court’s decision to have him tried as an adult…

“As of this point in time, we have not seen any evidence that would support the charges being made against him,” said Casas’ attorney, James Stevens, after a court hearing. “Johnny did nothing.”

Continue reading

Confession coerced in Quartz Hill?

Columbine II? Behind the Alleged Plot:

Two Quartz Hill teenagers planned a Columbine-style attack on their old high school in February in meticulous detail, sheriff’s deputies allege.

Johnny Alvarez Casas, then 17, and his friend, then 15, stockpiled ammunition and bomb-making supplies in their homes, then practiced detonating improvised explosives in the Antelope Valley desert, deputies said. The younger suspect’s name is being withheld because of his age.

The two were looking for an adult to buy them guns so they could shoot other students and ultimately kill themselves, but the plot unraveled, deputies said. A 16-year-old sophomore heard that the boys were planning to cut off her arms and legs during the attack and alerted an assistant principal, according to deputies. The boys were arrested Dec. 15.

And here comes the sob story…

Deputies said the boys confessed that they wanted to retaliate for ridicule they endured over their goth attire and lifestyle.

James A. Stevens, Casas’ defense attorney, said authorities wrung a false confession out of the boys with a “good cop, bad cop” routine. The two, who are charged with conspiracy to commit murder, have pleaded not guilty.

Stevens called the case the result of a massive overreaction by jittery school officials to fears of a possible rerun of the 1999 attack in which two teenage boys killed 12 students and a teacher at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., before turning their guns on themselves.

“Johnny is a good kid, plain and simple,” Stevens said. “The only thing they haven’t done to him is send him to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.”

Casas, now 18, faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole. His alleged accomplice, now 16, could be held in juvenile custody until he turns 25.

Do criminal defense attorneys take a special class in hyperbole? This isn’t shoplifting we’re talking about. The pair had stockpiled ammo and bomb-making materials and were actively searching for someone to buy them guns.

And before everyone jumps on the “they were bullied” bandwagon…

Stevens said Casas was harmless, a mixed-up kid of below-average intelligence shaken by his parents’ divorce. But Casas and his alleged accomplice were placed on probation for allegedly sodomizing a 14-year-old boy with a crowbar three years ago, Stevens acknowledged. Deputies confirmed the charge.

As far as the coercion allegation goes it sounds like another desperate defense attorney reaching the bottom of his bag of tricks.

Quartz Hill suspect pleads not guilty

Teen Enters Plea In Alleged Columbine-Style Attack Plan:

Not only has the 17-year-old suspect in the plot to attack Quartz Hill High in California been named but he’s also pleaded not guilty…

One of two teenagers accused of planning a Columbine-type attack at an Antelope Valley high school on Valentine’s Day pleaded not guilty Monday to felony charges.

Johnny Alvarez Casas, 17, is charged as an adult with one count each of conspiracy to commit murder and possession of ingredients to make a destructive device.

San Fernando Juvenile Court Commissioner Jack Gold found the teen unfit to stand trial as a juvenile during a hearing last Thursday.

One of the boys allegedly said the plan was “to kill all of the students who have made fun of him and then commit suicide,” according to sheriff’s officials.

The girl said the younger boy threatened to cut off her arms and legs during the attack, according to deputies.

A search of the other boy’s home allegedly produced satanic drawings and photographs of various killers, including the two who went on a rampage at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., in 1999, officials said.

Deputies also said they seized instructions about making bombs, detonators and fuses.

Also now that he’s been named I can confirm that this is, in fact, his MySpace.

He’ll be back in court April 21st to determine if there is enough evidence for him to stand trial.