Two-fifth graders allegedly devised a murder plot to kill several classmates by using a knife with a 3¼-inch blade and a .45-caliber Remington 1911 semiautomatic handgun. The knife and the semiautomatic handgun with an additional ammunition clip were found in the backpack of a 10-year-old student at Fort Colville Elementary School in eastern Washington.
According to a Los Angeles Times report on Feb. 14, 2013, the knife and the semiautomatic gun were discovered on Feb. 7, 2013, shortly before 8 a.m. when a fourth-grader told a teacher about having seen a fifth-grader with a knife. When the backpack of the 11-year-old fifth-grade student and that of his 10-year-old friend were searched, the teacher found the weapons in the 10-year-old’s backpack.
“When questioned separately shortly after the weapons were discovered, the boys admitted their plot, authorities said. ‘I was going to kill her with the knife and [the other boy] was supposed to use the gun to keep anyone from trying to stop me or mess up our plan,’ the older boy told detectives. When shown a class list, the boy identified six other classmates who were targeted.”
In regard to the motive for the fifth-graders’ alleged murder plot, the older fifth-grader said that he used to be the targeted girl’s friend for several month but that “he hated her now.” The fifth-grader also commented in regard to the motive for the murder plot that the girl "had recently become rude and would pick on him" and that they allegedly wanted to kill her “because she was really annoying.”
Stevens County prosecuting attorney Timothy Rasmussen said on Thursday that "This was a plan. And it was a plan to kill."
The prosecutor in the case of the two fifth-graders who devised a murder plot also commented that in Washington State, children under the age of eight are considered incapable of committing criminal acts and that children between the ages of eight and 12 are similarly considered incapable of committing a criminal act but that a court hearing would determine whether children at that age are capable of committing a crime. The hearing for the two fifth-graders is set for Feb. 20, 2013.
The charge filed against the two fifth-graders who allegedly devised a murder plot against seven other students with a 3¼-inch blade knife and a .45-caliber Remington 1911 semiautomatic handgun included “charges of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and witness tampering.”
The charge of witness tampering was filed because the boys offered another student $80 if he would not tell anyone about the two fifth-graders alleged murder plot.