SOUTH PASADENA (CBSLA.com) — Two South Pasadena High School students accused in a mass shooting plot face new charges.
The students, aged 16 and 17, were charged last month with one count of making criminal threats after authorities say they found evidence the boys were researching bulletproof vests, rifles, submachine guns, bombs and other explosives.
KCAL9’s Jeff Nguyen reports the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has now charged the teenagers with one count of conspiracy to commit murder and one count of conspiracy to commit assault with a deadly weapon.
Defense attorney Bruce Margolin, representing one boy, said the complaint was amended even though no new evidence has been found in the case.
“I think they’ve gone overboard here,” Margolin said. “No weapon was found or access to any weapon. No attempts to obtain any weapons. … So I think they’re going to have problems with this prosecution.”
The boys’ parents have apologized to the community. They declined to speak with CBS2/KCAL9 Monday, however, citing the new and more severe charges.
Board of Education Superintendent Geoff Yantz said last month that the administration contacted authorities after officials were informed by a tip from the public of a “credible threat of potential school violence.”
Police stated that during interviews that the boys said they were “willing to die for their plan.”
“They were very viable in what they were plotting,” Chief Art Miller said. “They just wanted to kill as many people as possible.”
Both boys denied the new charges Monday in juvenile court, where only parents, guardians and their attorneys are allowed.
The teenagers are at a juvenile detention center.
“I trust the court will do the right thing. Hopefully, they’ll be sent home soon. Maybe with some corrective conduct, they will be good,” Margolin said.
The D.A.’s Office declined to comment as the case involves minors.
The trial is scheduled to start Sept. 25.