Archive for Thursday, October 21, 2004

DA to review case against Baldwin teen

District attorney to decide whether charges warranted

October 21, 2004

The Douglas County District Attorney's office is waiting to review the case of the 15-year-old Baldwin boy and his plans for violence at the Maple Leaf Festival before deciding whether charges are warranted.

Douglas County Dist. Atty. Christine Kenney said the DA's office received the reports about the case from the Baldwin City Police Department Monday, and had not yet reviewed them.

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"Once we've had the opportunity to review the reports, then we'll make a determination whether to take any action," Kenney told the Signal Monday.

Earlier this month, Baldwin police questioned the 15-year-old, whose name is not being released, about his writings on the Internet detailing an attack at the annual fall festival.

Baldwin Police Chief Mike McKenna said the journal entries on the Web site indicated the teenager had plans to draw police out of Baldwin and then disrupt the festival by using guns and pipe bombs, a plan that would have injured many people.

Police learned of the plans after the boy's Lawrence classmate read the Web site and told his parents who then alerted authorities.

Police searched the Baldwin teenager's house, McKenna said, and no weapons were found.

He said the teenager is currently in a mental health facility in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

"The goal was to save the young man's life and secondly have mandated court orders that the young man get the treatment that was needed," he said. "This is a mentally ill person that needs help."

Kenney said despite earlier reports that said charges were not warranted, the DA's office had never said whether charges would be filed against the teenager.

"We will not make a decision until we have the opportunity to review the complete investigation," she said.

She said because each case varies, she could not specifically say when the case would be reviewed and a decision made, but she hoped it would be as soon as possible.

"We're hoping to get to it very quickly," she said. "We just want an opportunity to review the report before we determine whether charges are appropriate."

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