Plot penalty: 15-year-old gets 60 days
Amid the sobbing of family and friends, Judge Susan Whitlock committed the Albemarle High student found guilty of conspiring blow up two high schools to the Department of Juvenile Justice for 60 days, with a review May 23.
And in another development, sources revealed that the conviction was based not on any physical evidence or online communications but on a lawyerless interrogation between police and the 15-year-old boy. In court, Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Darby Lowe asked that the boy be committed, citing his statement to the police that "We were just going to go to school and kill everybody we saw who wasn't our friends."
Friends packed the Domestic and Juvenile Relations Courthouse this afternoon, and the boy's father testified that if his son were allowed to go home, he'd be under "strict" and "loving" 24-hour supervision.
The teen's trial, which concluded March 28, was closed (and some thought it was gagged) because of the tender age of two of the 13-year-old co-conspirators, who were also convicted. A fourth boy, age 16, pleaded guilty and will be sentenced next week.
Sources say that no evidence of explosives or even the two confiscated guns and smoke bomb were entered, and a motion to quash the statements made to police without a lawyer present had already been rejected by the judge.
CLARIFICATION: Sixty days is when the 15-year-old faces a review and is not his sentence. He could be kept in the juvenile system until he's 21.