PADUCAH, Ky., Dec. 12 -- The 14-year-old high school student accused of opening fire on a before-school prayer meeting killing three classmates will face trial on adult murder charges. A grand jury in Paducah today indicted Michael Carneal on three counts of murder, five counts of attempted murder and one count of burglary.
He will be arraigned Jan. 16. Carneal is being held without bond and was not in court today. Carneal appeared before a juvenile court judge earlier this week but those proceedings were closed and Judge Donna Dixon ordered attorneys in the case not to discuss what transpired. Under Kentucky law, she was required to order Carneal to stand trial on adult charges because the offense was committed with a gun. Because of his age, however, he is not eligible for the death penalty. Investigators say Carneal came to school Dec. 1 armed with a .22- caliber Ruger, two shotguns and two rifles that had been stolen from a neighbor's home Thanksgiving Day. He is accused of nearly emptying the Ruger into a group of students at their regular before-school prayer meeting, killing three and wounding five others, one of whom is likely to be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life. Killed were Kayce Steger, Nicole Hadley and Jessica James. The three were buried last Friday following a joint funeral. Sheriff Frank Augustus has said he does not think Carneal planned the rampage on his own but that he plans no further arrests at this time. Carneal told investigators that the shooting reminded him of a scene in the movie, 'Basketball Diaries,' in which the main character has a dream where he opens fire on classmates. ---
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