School shooter plotter should get max 10 years, community says

Nov. 5, 2013 at 2:31 PM
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BARTLESVILLE, Okla., Nov. 5 (UPI) -- An Oklahoma community is pleading with a judge to sentence a school shooting plotter to the maximum 10-year prison sentence, officials said.

A 32-page presentencing report filed in Washington County District Court urges Judge Curtis DeLapp to order Sammie Chavez to spend 10 years behind bars, Chavez was found guilty Sept. 24 of plotting to shoot fellow students at Bartlesville High School and plant bombs that would explode when police arrived.

The jury that convicted Chavez, 19, recommended he spend 2 1/2 years in prison. Judges normally go along with a jury's recommendation but have the authority to alter sentences as they deem appropriate.

School officials and Oklahoma corrections workers urged DeLapp to do just that, the Tulsa World reported Tuesday.

"This December does not hold warm memories for our students, staff and parents," Kerry Ickleberry, the Bartlesville Safe Schools coordinator, states in the report. "It reminds us of no matter how hard we tried, Sammie wanted to kill us. He wanted to kill our children. He wanted to kill our police officers. He wanted to kill my coworkers, my friends, anyone that got in the way."

Chavez, the report notes, has had a horrific upbringing. He first used marijuana at age 5. His mother signed away her parental rights and he was relegated to foster homes. He regularly drank alcohol and smoked marijuana in fifth grade and, by age 13, was selling drugs to make money.

Department of Corrections officials Kristi Olzaski and Justina Goldhahn advocated for the maximum sentence and told DeLapp he should require Chavez to live a clean and sober life and seek counseling once he's released from prison.

"His actions, combined with his unstable mental health, prove that he is a danger to others," they state in the report. "The defendant's behavior posed risk of serious injury to the community. He has articulated no remorse."

Chavez produced his own brief version of events in the report: "It is all a misunderstanding. I never threatened no one," he wrote.

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