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Post Reply Two teenage girls face trial in Colorado for 'planning mass school shooting'
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Posted 1/15/16

Two 16-year-olds have been charged with plotting a mass shooting at their suburban Denver high school, in an exceptional case that finds two teenage girls on trial instead of teenage boys.

Brooke Higgins, who was charged on Thursday, and Sienna Johnson, who was charged last week, will both be tried as adults on two counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, in a district court in Castle Rock, Colorado. The girls took what the prosecution called “overt acts” towards purchasing firearms in order to carry out their plan, assistant district attorney Jason Siers told the court on Thursday.

Related: Latest mass shootings prompt experts to overhaul theories explaining them

Mass shootings carried out by women are extremely rare – such attacks, defined by the FBI as a single event in which four or more people are killed, are nearly always perpetrated by men. In Mother Jones’s comprehensive count, out of 84 mass murder events since 1982, only three have involved women: San Bernardino, where one of two shooters was female; the shooting on a Native American reservation in Alturas, California, in 2014; and the postal shooting in Goleta, California, in 2006.

Prosecutors said the two girls worshipped the Columbine shooters, and the movie Natural Born Killers. They had specific targets, the prosecution said, but everyone at the school was a potential victim. Entries on social networking sites show moody pictures of blood-spattered walls, and hand-scrawled journal entries filled with anguished prose.

On Thursday, Higgins broke down in tears as district court judge Paul King set her bond at $1m, as he had for Johnson. The day before, Johnson also appeared emotional in court, watching proceedings with an expression of horror, her foot vibrating, her hands constantly worrying at a tissue. She has been scheduled for a psychological evaluation; Higgins has already had one, and was briefly on suicide watch, her lawyers told the court. Both were shackled, in pastel green prison jumpsuits.

The cases are currently under seal, and a motion filed by a consortium of local television stations and the Guardian to remove that seal from the case file was denied by King, though he did allow the trials to take place in open court.

Highlands Ranch, Colorado, is a satellite suburban town about 25 miles south of Denver. Nestled among snowy brush-covered hillocks, its skyline is dominated by the distant Rockies and little else. It is a town of cookie-cutter houses in uniform blue-grey and beige.

Nearby, several town names echo with dismal significance. Columbine, probably America’s most infamous school shooting, is a quarter-hour drive north-west. Aurora, where 12 people were murdered at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises three years ago, is about a half-hour north-east. Colorado Springs, site of two shootings in as many months in October and November 2015, is an hour south.

It was through an anonymous text hotline begun after the 1999 Columbine shooting that the Mountain Vista high school plot was supposedly uncovered. In fact, Columbine looms large over the whole alleged plot. On 10 December, according to the district attorney who confiscated and searched Higgins’s journal and phone, she took a picture of the road outside Columbine high school, and Googled the names of the shooters. She also wrote about how she wished she had done Columbine with them, the prosecution said.

In setting the strict bond conditions for Higgins on Thursday, Judge King addressed the issue of the cult of Columbine directly. “The idea that the incident at Columbine is to be admired, that the people who did that are gods or heroes …” he paused. “There are parents in this city that want to make sure their kids are protected.”

Johnson, according to a biography she posted to a blog, had an unsettled childhood. Her parents divorced when she was two, and she was shuttled from Colorado to Pennsylvania to Florida to South Carolina and back to Colorado again. She expressed anger at lacking a “normal” family; but also an interest in art and music. She says she began rebelling in seventh grade, and was kicked out of her father’s house. At the end of the biography, she wrote: “I still put all my time and energy into the things I enjoy most and hope to be the best I can be.”

Much of Johnson’s social media, including her Facebook and Tumblr page has been taken offline, but some of it is still available in cached form. This is where the Natural Born Killers reference originates. Other posts are titled “my whole existence is flawed” and “kill yourself”.

Photographs on her blog of hand-written journal entries and drawings and paintings point to an artistic talent – though also to an emotional turbulence. “Maybe if you hadn’t made me drunk at midnight I wouldn’t mourn in that hour,” she wrote around a drawing of clasped hands in prayer and a collage of roses.

“I don’t need help / I’m just medicating / I’m not a junkie / I lost feeling,” she wrote. And nearby, the phrase “needle sick” hints at possible substance abuse. But she does not fit the mould of a loner disappearing entirely into an online world; she played in a band, called Riot Vision.

The sheriff’s office and the district attorney have reportedly dropped hints about the evidence they found against Johnson. They claimed the girls had planned their attack in the days running up to Christmas, and that Johnson had practised shooting with BB guns. Authorities also said she had told them when she was arrested that, were she released, she would go back to plotting a shooting.

Less is known publicly about Higgins. She suffers from depression and has been in therapy for it for two years, according to her defense lawyer. She has also struggled with drug abuse in the past. But she had an after-school job and was doing well in school. Her attorney has tried to distance Higgins from Johnson, saying that the two were “high school acquaintances” who had only briefly associated with each other.

But, according to the prosecution, Johnson had written in her diary in 2015 about meeting someone “who’s got what it takes to … make this school a living f*****g nightmare”.

“God, Brooke and me will be unstoppable,” Johnson allegedly wrote.

They said the girls had taken steps towards purchasing real firearms; that Higgins had Googled “how can underage people buy guns” and visited Armslist.com, a site known as the “Craigslist for guns”.

Therein, the prosecution’s case goes, lies the conspiracy. “The illegality follows an agreement to do a mass shooting,” Spiers told the court. “When you go to websites that are selling guns, we do believe those are overt acts.”

The argument put forward by Dagny Van Der Jagt, the lawyer defending Higgins, is that these searches by her client, while chilling, do not constitute a crime. She said the DA was accusing her of “thought crimes”, nothing more. She also tried to distance her client from Johnson.

But the DA disagreed. “There was an agreement and they took steps to get weapons based on that agreement,” Spiers said. “They were friends, they hung out outside school, and prior to this had said things individually about shooting up the school, then when they got together they put that plan into motion.”

Preliminary hearings in the two trials are set for the end of February for Higgins, and the beginning of March for Johnson.


http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/two-teenage-girls-face-trial-in-colorado-for-planning-mass-school-shooting/ar-BBodbUy?li=BBnb7Kz

Bitches be crazy.


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M / The Nightosphere
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Posted 1/15/16
Smh. You just don't see this shit anywhere else.
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25 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 1/15/16
Something is truly wrong with people.
Werina 
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21 / F
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Posted 1/15/16
Ugh.
Posted 1/15/16
In America has long as you stay the fuck away from schools. You are safe.
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20 / M / Sweden
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Posted 1/15/16
Why doesn't things like this happen in any other part of the world?
Posted 1/15/16
Wtf?
Posted 1/15/16

TheOmegaForce70941 wrote:

Why doesn't things like this happen in any other part of the world?


I think there something in the water. At this point I starting to think, this is part of a conspiracy.
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Posted 1/15/16

KarenAraragi wrote:


TheOmegaForce70941 wrote:

Why doesn't things like this happen in any other part of the world?


I think there something in the water. At this point I starting to think, this is part of a conspiracy.


Nah it's more or less the fact that weapons aren't as easy to get anywhere else in the world. Therefore mentally ill people can get them much easier. However similar things do indeed happen, just not on the scale of the US...
Posted 1/15/16 , edited 1/15/16

TheOmegaForce70941 wrote:


KarenAraragi wrote:


TheOmegaForce70941 wrote:

Why doesn't things like this happen in any other part of the world?


I think there something in the water. At this point I starting to think, this is part of a conspiracy.


Nah it's more or less the fact that weapons aren't as easy to get anywhere else in the world. Therefore mentally ill people can get them much easier. However similar things do indeed happen, just not on the scale of the US...


Why did you say that? You know people are going to fight you now over that comment.
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26 / M
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Posted 1/15/16
Hope they get punished to the full extend for the crime. Just because you're "depressed" doesn't excuse wanting to shoot up a school.
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Posted 1/15/16

KarenAraragi wrote:

Why did you say that? You know people are going to fight you now over that comment.

Just because a statement is unpopular or polarizing does not make it false.

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Posted 1/15/16
What is wrong with America...
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30 / F / USA
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Posted 1/15/16
Uh.. this sort of thing does happen all over the world.. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Norway_attacks

Just because you don't hear about something happening, or even forget about it, doesn't mean it doesn't happen.
Posted 1/15/16 , edited 1/15/16

Dariamus wrote:


KarenAraragi wrote:

Why did you say that? You know people are going to fight you now over that comment.

Just because a statement is unpopular or polarizing does not make it false.



That true but he going to get in a fight with somebody over that.
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