Crime

Another Teen Charged In Colorado Mass Shooting Plot

| by Nicholas Roberts
Mountain Vista High SchoolMountain Vista High School

The second of two Colorado teenagers accused of planning a mass shooting in December 2015, Brooke Higgins, was formally indicted by prosecutors on Jan. 14, who filed adult charges.

Higgins and Sienna Johnson, both 16, each face two counts of conspiracy to commit murder at the Mountain Vista High School where they attended, The Denver Post reports.

Prosecutors believe the two planned the potential attack together. They reportedly loved the movie "Natural Born Killers," posted pictures of blood-splattered walls on social networking sites, and also looked up to the 1999 Columbine shooters, according to The Guardian.

The Denver Post reports that the plot was tipped off to the sheriff through a text message mere days before the girls planned to carry out the attack. Johnson and Higgins were both arrested on Dec. 12.

Central to prosecutors' cases against both girls were their online search histories and social media entries.

The Guardian relayed the details of a biography on Johnson's blog, much of which has been removed. She showed her original artwork on the blog, along with prose and poetry that was anguished and emotional. But she also played in a band called Riot Vision, and so did not fit into the mold of a loner cut off from the outside world.

During Higgins' hearing, prosecutors said the teen searched the Internet for various ways to find a weapon as a minor, The Denver Post reports.  In addition, she reportedly wrote in her journal about her wish that she could have participated in the 1999 Columbine attacks.

Higgins' attorney, Dagny Van Der Jagt, told prosecutors her client has been undergoing treatment for depression over the past two years and that the accusations were ludicrous.

"This is a thought crime, at best," said Van Der Jagt.

"There have been no concerning bombs, weapons or any other kind of materials found in her home," she said after the hearing. "There is no mention of any type of plot in her writings."

District Judge Paul King disagreed and said that Higgins' online searches were "more than problematic, given the circumstances," The Denver Post reports.

Both girls are being held on $1 million bail. They will both have hearings to determine whether or not the allegations against them remain in adult court or are sent down to the juvenile jurisdiction.

Sources: The Guardian, The Denver Post / Photo credit: John Leyba/The Denver Post