ROY, Utah -- A 16-year-old boy who was allegedly involved in a plot to set off a bomb at Roy High School pleaded guilty Tuesday.
The boy, who FOX 13 News will not identify because he is a juvenile, will spend six months in a secure juvenile facility. He will receive counseling and will be allowed to continue his high school studies via the Internet.
He was also ordered to pay restitution because he allegedly had access to some of the keys to Roy High School. All of the locks at the school needed to be re-keyed as a result. The restitution amount has yet to be determined, but is expected to be at least $8,000.
The juvenile and 18-year-old Dallin Morgan allegedly plotted to detonate a bomb during an assembly at Roy High School. Their escape plan was to steal a plane from the Ogden-Hinckley Airport and fly to "a country that won't send (them) back to the US," according to a text message sent by the 16-year-old suspect. Detectives say the 16-year-old suspect reported to have spent hundreds of hours in an online flight simulator to prepare for the getaway.
"Everything would indicate that there was a lot of planning and preparation that had been going on for up to two to three months by these two individuals at Roy High School," said Roy Police Chief Greg Whinham. "We're very fortunate today that we were able to intercept some information prior to them being able to take any substantial steps toward harming any kids at Roy High."
The allegations against Morgan and the 16-year-old suspect came to light when two other Roy High School students notified school officials of ominous text messages sent by the 16-year-old suspect.
"I've just been kinda planning my get back at the world thing and I figured if you had anyone you wanted revenge on, I could see if I have anything planned," the text message read.
Messages describe an intricate plan with "explosives, airport, airplane" to get "revenge on the world."
Further messages implicated Morgan, who admitted to being part of the plot, according to a police statement released Thursday.
"We both want to, and we have a plan to get away with it too," the 16-year-old wrote to another student in text messages. "Explosives, airport, airplane...We ain't gonna crash it, we're just gonna kill and fly our way to a country that won't send us back to the US."
School officials notified Roy police on January 25 and the two suspects were arrested later that night.
No explosive devices were found in an investigation at the school. However, investigators searched the homes and cars of the two suspects and discovered a map of the school, which was marked with the locations of security cameras and their blind spots. Computers obtained from the suspects' homes were confiscated by the FBI.
Roy Police Chief Greg Winham describes the two suspects as mainstream, functioning students. He said the 16-year-old interviewed him a few months ago for a journalism class he was taking.
The 16-year-old suspect reportedly told investigators he is fascinated by the April 1999 shootings at Columbine High School. The student went to Columbine High School in late 2011 to interview Principal Frank DeAngelis about the mass killing, saying he was writing an article for the Roy High School newspaper.
"When I received the phone call Wednesday, needless to say I was shocked," said DeAngelis. "Very articulate young man. Very thought-provoking questions, well thought out questions but nothing out of the ordinary."
The student told investigators that he was offended by comparisons to the Columbine shooters because those killers had only completed one percent of their plan and he would be far more successful with his plans because he was more intelligent than the two Columbine killers.