A Colorado teen has been charged as an adult after her plans to carry out attacks against her classmates and the staff of her high school were foiled by the police, according to reports emerging in the media.
Sienna Johnson, 16, is one of the two teens accused of conspiring a deadly attack on Mountain Vista High School, which is located in the affluent Highlands Ranch suburb. Police found a BB gun, a journal detailing her plans to carry out the shootings, and a map of the school in Johnson’s possession.
The Colorado teen faces two felony counts of conspiring to commit first-degree murder and has been set a bail of $1 million, prosecutors said.
According to the New York Daily News, Johnson was one of the two girls apprehended by the police in the middle of last month after officials were alerted of the duo’s plans via a text-a-tip program developed for schools. Charges against the second girl are pending because she is currently undergoing a mental assessment, prosecutors said.
“I think the text message and the information we obtained through our investigation saved lives for sure given the severity of the situation,” said Douglas County sheriff Tony Spurlock.
The two girls are believed to be inspired from the movie Natural Born Killers — a highly controversial film because of its violent content and an obsession of the Columbine High School gunmen — and were reportedly planning to “inflict as much damage as possible” during the attack, according to the Denver Post. Although full details about the case were not revealed because of the ongoing trial, police said the two girls had made “elaborate” plans to kill their classmates as well as many members of the staff of their school. Prosecutors found Johnson’s journal to contain references to the movie and “disturbing images.”
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This is one of the few times that a juvenile is being tried as an adult, but prosecutors said the extenuating and grave implications of Johnson’s plans left them no option. Investigators said that since her arrest, Johnson has shown no signs of remorse and has allegedly told them that if she were to be released, she would still carry out the deadly attack. In fact, she claimed she would be more careful so as to not get caught again, according to WPTV.
“We still feel she is a danger to the community,” Deputy District Attorney Deborah Wrenholt said.
Furthermore, prosecutors alleged that the Colorado teen had a detailed map in her possession, which reportedly shows where her classmates and the staff of her school congregate on regular days, as well as tracking the movement of the security personnel of her school. She also posted pictures of other school shootings to her page on the social networking website Tumblr and “took steps to acquire firearms and went target shooting with a pellet gun,” according to prosecutors.
Johnson is known to be extremely violent in nature and has also hurt her pets in the past, police said.
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However, the Colorado teen’s public defender, Ara Ohanian, said that authorities had “grossly exaggerated” the case against Johnson.
“The bottom line is I have seen and I have access to information that (the public doesn’t) have. Part of this process is the process of trying to figure out how to get the most amount of information to make the decision of what’s best not only for this juvenile but the community.”
Colorado has been witness to a spate of mass shootings over the past two decades, the deadliest being the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School, where two students fatally shot a teacher and 12 classmates before killing themselves.
[Photo by Brennan Linsley/AP Images]