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Two Colville 5th graders face murder conspiracy charges

By Jeff Humphrey, KXLY4 Reporter , jeffhu@kxly.com
Published On: Mar 29 2013 07:20:34 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 12 2013 01:21:37 PM CDT
Two Colville 5th graders face murder conspiracy charges
STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. -

Two Colville boys face murder conspiracy charges for their alleged plot to kill fellow elementary school students in early February.

A judge found the 10 and 11-year-old, who appeared in Stevens County Superior Court Friday, both competent to stand trial.

Prosecutors say the fifth graders planned to rape and kill a girl who had been mocking them on their school bus. Prosecutors asked that despite the boys' young age, they be held responsible for their actions.

Both students plead not guilty to conspiracy to commit 1st degree murder, witness tampering and juvenile possession of a firearm.

All day long a superior court judge tried to decide if the two knew the difference between right and wrong when they allegedly hatched a murder plot for their school.

The two boys are still too young for KXLY to identify, but prosecutors say this pair of fifth graders came up with a grown up plan to get a gun in school in the hopes of killing a classmate.

The allegation they were ready to pay 80 dollars to another student to keep their plan a secret shows a lot about what they knew.

"He said he was supposed to use the gun to keep everybody away, while (deleted), he said at that point (deleted) was going to kill her." school counselor Debbie Rogers said.

A fellow student tipped off counselors about the alleged murder plot, a search of one of the defendant's backpack in his classroom turned up a knife as well.

Today in court KXLY learned one of the boys had already been suspended from Fort Colville Elementary for bringing liquor on campus and stealing musical instruments from the school.

"I asked him about the gun, where he had got the gun and he said he had stolen the gun from his brother's room and that his brother has stolen it from his grandfather," teacher's aide Richard Payette said.                                  

Other testimony revealed the killing was supposed to happen the same day the gun was discovered but a quick-thinking 10-year-old told counselors who found the gun before it was too late.

"Both explained to me that they had been planning this event about two weeks before that  date and on the date we made contact with them and interviewed these students, it was going to happen that day," Officer Scott Arms of Colville Police said.

Typically juvenile court proceedings are about helping young people recognize and recover from their mistakes.

However in this case the prosecutor is focused on conviction and punishment to help protect the public from the two boys he finds surprisingly dangerous.

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