COVINGTON, La. (AP) — The trial of the three boys accused of plotting a shooting spree at Lakeshore High School has been delayed.
Prosecutors said the evidence against them — an invite-only Facebook group called Day Zero on which they reportedly planned their attack — went missing. The mother of the group’s alleged ringleader, deleted the page, and then destroyed her son’s computer before police got to it, prosecutors said.
The three 15-year-olds were set to begin trial next week on charges of conspiracy to commit terrorizing and solicitation for murder.
Meantime, Sheriff Jack Strain said on Wednesday that one of the juveniles under arrest for planning a school shooting has been released on $100,000 bond.
The other two juveniles remain in custody in the Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Center.
Expediency in juvenile cases is required by federal law, which insists on a very good reason for prosecutors to delay a case. At a hearing Tuesday, the defense attorneys opposed the state’s request for a continuance. But Judge Mary Devereux granted the delay, noting that the prosecution was not the party that deleted the page and destroyed the computer.
The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office has issued subpoenas to Facebook and is working with federal agencies and authorities in California to serve a search warrant to the Palo Alto-based social media site.
The Facebook page, only accessible to those invited to join the group, is allegedly where the boys detailed their plans for the first-day-of-school attack.
Information from: The Times-Picayune