The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

January 11, 2013

Hearing set for Okla. teen charged in school plot

Staff reports
Enid News and Eagle

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. — An Oklahoma teenager charged with plotting a mass shooting at his high school is due in court next month for a preliminary hearing when prosecutors will present the evidence against him.

Sammie Eaglebear Chavez appeared via video monitor Friday from the Washington County jail, where he's being held on a $1 million bond. Chavez, 18, is accused of plotting to shoot students at the school and detonate bombs to kill police. No one was harmed.

He was arrested the same day as the deadly school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Chavez spoke only at the very end of his court appearance, when he said, "Thank you." His court-appointed attorney, Jim Conatser, declined to comment, saying he just met his client a day earlier and needed to focus on preparing for the preliminary hearing.

Associate District Court Judge Russell Vaclaw set Feb. 21 for the hearing, which will determine whether Chavez should be bound over for trial on a charge of planning or attempting to perform an act of violence. Assistant District Attorney Will Drake estimated that the preliminary hearing will take two or three days.

An assistant principal at Bartlesville High School notified police on Dec. 13 after a student said Chavez "tried to recruit other students to assist him with carrying out a plan to lure students into the school auditorium where he planned to begin shooting them after chaining the doors shut," Bartlesville police Lt. Kevin Ickleberry wrote in an affidavit.

According to court records, police seized a .22-caliber semi-automatic rifle with the stock cut off, handwritten notes, drawings, journals and photos of classmates cut out of the newspaper in a search of Chavez's home.

Chavez's mother has said she did not believe her son seriously planned any violence.