Authorities Dismiss School Rampage Allegations

Authorities Dismiss School Rampage Allegations

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Summit county authorities have dropped allegations that two high-school sophomores were planning a Columbine-style school shooting rampage in May.

In a plea arrangement, one youth pleaded guilty to felony distribution of marijuana and a second student to a misdemeanor drug count in exchange for dropping charges of threatening death and injury.

The 15-year-old South Summit High School students remain in custody, pending sentencing in juvenile court.

The students were suspended May 19 from school after a sheriff's deputy began investigating allegations that they were dealing drugs.

A search of a locker they commonly used didn't turn up any drugs, but did yield a stack of papers containing violent drawings and hateful scrawling against other students, faculty and staff -- some of them specifically named.

Sheriff's deputies found a "rudimentary tactical plan," which included the entrances and exits for their high school, amid hundreds of pages of violent images allegedly showing the two shooting and raping teachers and classmates.

Summit County Attorney Robert Adkins called the locker items "inappropriate," but said they weren't enough to lead to criminal charges. "The criminal law punishes after the fact. What they intended in the future, we can't speculate.

The allegations shocked the 1,379-person town of Kamas, where the school is located. Now that they've been dropped, some say police blew them out of proportion to begin with.

Summit County Sheriff Dave Edmunds defended authorities, saying they had to take precautions to make sure everyone was safe.

"We had probable cause," he said. "The writings and drawings and other things found in the locker were very disturbing."

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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