The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

National and world

September 23, 2013

Trial begins in Bartlesville school plot case

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. — A Bartlesville teenager accused of plotting to lure students into his high school’s auditorium, chaining the doors shut and shooting them told a peer about his plan, a former high school student who heard the conversation testified Monday.

Former Bartlesville High School student Tyler White testified in the case of Sammie Eaglebear Chavez, who has pleaded not guilty to prosecutors’ claims.

“I heard Sammie talking to someone in the cafeteria,” White said in a Washington County district courtroom. “They were talking about shooting up the school.”

Police also say Chavez, who is now 19, planned to place bombs by the auditorium doors and detonate them as police officers approached.  

Chavez has been jailed on $1 million bond since his arrest in December — which came hours before a gunman opened fire at a Connecticut elementary school and killed 20 children and six adults before killing himself.  

Chavez’s mother has said her son sent her a text message two days before his arrest saying that he wanted to “shoot up” the high school because he thought some students were talking about him behind his back. But she also said she didn’t think her son would have carried out the attack.

Chavez showed symptoms of possible mental illness and had been seeing a therapist, his mother has said, but the court found him competent to stand trial after ordering a mental competency exam.

The trial will continue Tuesday with two Bartlesville police officers expected to testify about the investigation into the allegations.

 

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