16-year-old bomber gets juvey jail
The Western Albemarle teen purportedly the originator of the plot to blow up WAHS and Albemarle High, who previously pleaded guilty to two felony counts, was committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice and could be held until his 21st birthday, Judge Susan Whitlock ruled in court today. She will review his case in 60 days, and a hearing is scheduled for June 7.
In sharp contrast to the sentencing of his 15-year-old Albemarle High alleged co-conspirator April 12, no throngs of supporters showed up for the WAHS student, whose sentence was handed down in a smaller, auxilary courtroom filled mainly with reporters.
Judge Whitlock noted a parental request that she couldn't consider because it violated judicial canon. Neither Asst. Commonwealth's Attorney Darby Lowe nor the 16-year-old's mother and stepfather's attorney, Waverly Parker, would comment on what type of "monetary benefit" they proposed to make to Blue Ridge Juvenile Detention.
Authorities won't confirm whether the two 13-year-old Jack Jouett students have been sentenced, and the 15-year-old is appealing.
Today's sentencing comes one day before the alleged bomb plot was supposed happen, at least according to the high school rumor mill, which is rife with talk that something is going to happen tomorrow, April 20– the 7th anniversary of Columbine, Hitler's birthday– and the birthday of the 16-year-old.
AHS and WAHS principals have made announcements that it's safe to go to school tomorrow, and Albemarle School Superintendent Pam Moran has sent out an email to reassure concerned parents. Nonetheless, for a lot of county high school students, tomorrow looks like a good day for skipping school.