Florida Judge Dismisses Case Against Teen Who Allegedly Plotted Mass Shooting

The Baker County Sheriff's Office said it is pushing to appeal Circuit Court Judge Gloria Walker's ruling.

Baker County, FL – A Florida judge has dismissed all charges against a 15-year-old student accused of writing and sharing six pages of “detailed notes” about his plans to carry out a mass shooting at a high school in Glen St. Mary.

The unnamed teen wrote about his desire to “kill officers” and the Baker County High School gatekeeper, “then go one by one,” WJXT reported.

“Kill the first responders first,” he penned in a composition notebook. “There will most likely be chaos. You kill as much as you can before the other students/teachers notice.”

The teen’s notes included specific times and dates for potential attacks, as well as where certain people he wanted to kill would be located at those times, WTSP reported.

The student figured that, based on the distance between the Baker County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) and the high school, he would have a nine-minute window to carry out a mass shooting before law enforcement arrived, BCSO Major Randy Crews said, according to WJXT.

He later shared his writings with another student, which Maj. Crews said qualified as “transmitting” the threats under Florida law.

The student who saw the teen’s plans for the attack subsequently reported the alleged plot to a teacher.

Investigators seized the notebook containing his detailed plans, and were stunned by the student’s thoroughness.

“We felt he was very much a threat,” Baker County Sheriff Scotty Rhoden said, according to WJXT. “Since I’ve been here at the Sheriff’s Office, for many years, I’ve never seen anything as detailed and as much thought process. When we read the notebook, it was very troublesome."

Investigators located firearms inside the teen’s home, but his parents told police he did not have access to them.

The boy acknowledged having penned the content in the notebook, but denied having intended to actually carry out an attack, WTSP reported.

His last entry was made on the day of his arrest, Maj. Crews noted.

According to Florida statute, it is a second-degree felony to write and send threats to kill or cause bodily injury “ to the person to whom such letter or communication is sent, or a threat to kill or do bodily injury to any member of the family of the person to whom such letter or communication is sent, or any person who makes, posts, or transmits a threat in a writing or other record, including an electronic record, to conduct a mass shooting or an act of terrorism, in any manner that would allow another person to view the threat.”

But last week, Circuit Court Judge Gloria Walker dismissed all charges against the teen during a bench trial, claiming that prosecutors could not prove that the threats had been “transmitted” under the law, WTSP reported.

Maj. Crews discussed the case with the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission on Tuesday, according to WJXT.

“Prosecution plead with the judge about the case law, about the case, about the interpretation of the law and quite frankly the judge disagreed and dismissed the case," Maj. Crews explained to the commission. "If it’s got a law that needs to be clarified – I’m not a lawyer. It was clear to me. It was clear to the prosecutor.”

“This is a case where everything was done the way it should have been done,” the major added. “A kid saw something and said something, took it to the teachers, school resource officers were involved, we investigated."

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, who is also chairman of the commission, called Walker’s ruling “disturbing,” and also seemed confused by the judge’s decision, WJXT reported.

“The question is, does the statute need to be changed? I don’t see anything in statute that needs to be changed,” Sheriff Gualtieri said. “This seems to be a situation that happened in one place and a decision made by one court…It’s unfortunate and extremely troubling, and all we can do is hope this kid, who is out on the street, does not execute his plan.”

Another commissioner, Chief Assistant State Attorney Bruce Bartlett, said the best recourse would likely be to encourage voters not to elect Walker in the next election, WJXT reported.

In a statement on Wednesday, Sheriff Rhoden said that he was “extremely disappointed” by Walker’s ruling.

“The law in this case is written in clear language describing the creation of this document as a second degree felony,” he wrote. “I believe this case was clear and should have had a different outcome.”

The sheriff noted that the law prohibits Superintendent Sherrie Raulerson from speaking about the case publicly, but he assured citizens that they have been “in constant contact” as they look for other “options.”

“We will not waiver in our resolve to do all that we can to keep our schools safe. Should an incident like this occur again we will respond the exact same way,” Sheriff Rhoden wrote. “I want to commend my staff and the school staff for their professionalism displayed throughout this entire process. They did exactly what they were trained to do in this situation and prevented what could have been a tragic outcome.”

Sheriff Rhoden said that he and prosecutors are working with the attorney general’s office, and that they plan to appeal Walker’s ruling, WJXT reported.

Comments (158)
No. 1-35
flybynight
flybynight

Afirmative Action/Activist judge?

Shastabeau
Shastabeau

I guess this is like Beto penning his desire to run over kids in the street! Both need mental help!

Ofcr.Tammy
Ofcr.Tammy

A few weeks back a troubled girl was mentioned here for pointing fingers as threat.

I don't agree that the judge did the right thing here by dismissing the case, even if it was only writing , there was clear & structured instructions on how the plan was to be carried out.

That is a serious red flag,

With professional oversight & psychological counselling the angst in this teenager could've been put into a creative or productive outlet.

MaggieFL
MaggieFL

Is she a Democratic appointee?

Vodkabreakfast
Vodkabreakfast

This nasty and unhappy child needs to be placed in a structured and secure facility so he can be observed and spoken with by experts. This personality issue has to be addressed whilst it is still in the drivers seat of a dangerous concept, rather than an enabled murderous rage. Frankly, anything would be better than “the-hell-with-it-wait and-see” approach this Florida judge is rolling the dice on. I wouldn’t want her judging a pie contest.

Excalibr4
Excalibr4

Racist black judge. Figures. How can we expect law enforcement to effectively do their jobs, when the courts are filled with black racists?

neda
neda

a clear reason we need to reinstate mental institutions to house those who are a threat to the public. (mr. bauer)

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

The parents should have their guns confiscated, in accordance with Trump's red flag laws.

Devinhurst1
Devinhurst1

The problem here is the way the law was written. I agree that something should be done about this child. This is absolutely bone chilling and disturbing. The law reads that it is unlawful to "transmit or "extend these threats to OTHERS verbally or in writing, via online transmission or in writing. The issue here is that the student didn't extend these threats to others, he merely wrote about it in his notebook. Which isn't extending it to others. The law, as it was written, didn't include that. The judge doesn't get to write laws they are to follow the laws as they are written, as screwed up as this is. START WRITING YOUR CONGRESSPERSONS NOW TO ENSURE THAT THE LAWS IN YOUR AREAS COVER THIS APPROPRIATELY.

This is absolutely terrible and I hope this child doesn't act upon his "writings".

JDS
JDS

Student's name should be made public. He should be at the mercy of his peers, when he returns to school.

PickyBiker
PickyBiker

Guns are not the problem, judges like this are the problem.

Excalibr4
Excalibr4

Black judge, Black terrorist defendant... same shit, different day.

Ofcr.Tammy
Ofcr.Tammy

Hugging a convicted murderer is A-okay!

But moment a Judge does some thing i don't like, its okay to throw the race of the Judge.

I guess that's not racist.

tfort
tfort

Sounds like this kid could write the next detective novel.

Kagnewvet
Kagnewvet

My question is, was this kid black, and did race have anything to do with the judge's decision? Now that the kid has been outed and his peers know, will their taunting and rejection be the impetus to put his plan into action? If I had a child in that school, I would remove my child. The fact that the school already has security indicates it has need of more authority than the teachers and staff have over the students, and where there is one disturbed kid, others are prone to assist/copy.

bryantrent
bryantrent

Oh boy

Constable
Constable

This is absurd. Once he showed another person his plans, every part of this particular law was met. If the prosecutor isn't able to get the liberal judge's ruling appealed then turn the case over to the feds. I'm thankful the individual the suspect showed the plans deemed it a credible threat and reported it. Bottom line? Vote the judge out.

K2A
K2A

One should read “Why Meadow Died” by Andrew Pollack, the people and policies that created the Parkland shooter.

NomonK
NomonK

This is the mentality of liberals in general. Don't penalize illegals coming across the border! Open it up and just let them enter. Don't penalize a burglar. If the door is unlocked it's not their fault the walked in. Don't penalize the kid because he wrote his assassination plot down. He didn't hurt anyone plus he's just a kid. The judge knows first had that as a kid you can do shit and not really get punished or disciplined for it. As a liberal we all know the laws are made to protect the criminal not the law abiding citizens.

Beege93
Beege93

Judge Walker is not black, just to clear that up. Judges don’t get to re-write laws, she applied the law exactly as written. The child needs psychological help—NOT INCARCERATION. And assuming her ruling was about race is about as ignorant as it gets. And for clarification- I’m an attorney, and I represent LEO’s a good majority of the time.

Dezertgem
Dezertgem

If the kid follows through with it one day, blood will be on this judge's hands...

junkmansj
junkmansj

Kid that committed the Conneticut school shooting DID NOT have access to his mothers guns. He murdered her first to get the keys

Stanracer
Stanracer

Another hug-a-thug, bleeding heart, liberal judge "hard" at work!👎

Thinblueline
Thinblueline

Sounds like everyone did what they were supposed to do....except for the judge.

Janko
Janko

After scanning the comments, I am appalled that so many have missed the point that communication of the supposed "threat" and the intent to frighten are necessary elements of the offense. There was neither act nor intent here.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

As far as the judge, I'm gonna ride with whatever she says. Her and the wife favor each other.

D.W.B.
D.W.B.

Would she have dis missed the teen if her name were mentioned. I think not, the judge is a lunatic.

4929dow
4929dow

I think sombody needs to look into this Judges past rulings and possible ties to this case.....It is possible that there is some info we are not seeing but if the story is accurate as depicted some sort of outcome should have been handed down to deter future acts.....To dismiss without so much as even a sturn lecture to the individual sets a dangerous example to those school kids that will not be willing to stick their necks out in the future to warn authorities if nothing will be done......Something just doesn't seem right about this to just be dismissed by the Judge and should be looked into!

chulapi
chulapi

It looks very simple: The judge made a decision based on the evidence presented. The code clearly requires for a threat to be "transmitted" and the prosecutor, lacking that, wanted to convince the judge the fact that the student had shown his writings to a classmate constituted a "transfer". The judge did not agree with the legal interpretation of the word "transfer" of the prosecutor and dismissed the case. Without that, horrible as it may be, what the student wrote simply constitutes free speech protected by the First Amendment. It is protected the same way as KKK publications and rallies are: just an expression. As intricate and detailed as the student's writings may be, authorities did not report finding the student to have physically prepared anything, other than his notebook for the assault. I'm sure authorities are going to keep an eye on him though. Sometimes we disagree with a judge's decision such as when police officers are found not guilty of shooting unarmed people because they "feared for their lives" or the Zimmerman fuck who followed and shot that black kid after the police clearly told him to not follow him.... but we have to trust the decision of the judge as being the result of the appropriate legal analysis of all the facts.

chulapi
chulapi

Isn't it the law that a person cannot testify against his spouse? Which forces me to ask you: How are things between you and your husband?

tonysmith
tonysmith

It is so appalling that so-called "law and order" folks are wilfully ignoring the LAW in this case. The law requires a threat communicated to an intended target of the violence. Period. It is plain as day in the statute the judge applied to this case. Indeed, the first thing I thought when I saw the headline is "there must not have been communication." Behavior can be disturbing AND legal. Also, we have other mechanisms of social control. If the student's threat seems credible, he could be suspended, expelled, monitored, etc. Prosecutors and officers don't have a monopoly on solutions for social problems. FYI: Here's that statute that 90% of you haven't bothered to read: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0800-0899/0836/Sections/0836.10.html.

Janko
Janko

This has nothing to do with naming any alleged victims. The defect in the charges is that the evidence does not show, or even allow the inference, that the communication was with the intent to threaten (or "terrify," as some crimes codes have it) some person. Act and intent must both be present.

HH3
HH3

Please remember this at election time! Vote him OUT!!!!! Use this ruling as is as a political ad!