, Muskogee, OK

July 23, 2013

Trial set in alleged Bartlesville plot

Student charged with planning to trap classmates in auditorium and shoot them

Associated Press

— BARTLESVILLE (AP) — A Washington County district judge on Monday set a Sept. 9 trial for a Bartlesville teenager charged with plotting to kill classmates and police officers inside a high school.

Sammie Eaglebear Chavez, 19, appeared before District Judge Curtis DeLapp via a video hookup Monday. Chavez has been jailed on $1 million bond since his arrest in December — which came hours before a gunman opened fire at a Connecticut elementary school and killed 20 children and six adults before killing himself.

Chavez has pleaded not guilty to hatching a plot to lure students into the Bartles-ville High School auditorium with a plan to shoot them after chaining the doors shut, according to a police affidavit.

Prosecutors say Chavez also planned to place bombs by the auditorium doors and detonate them as police officers approached.

Chavez also tried to obtain a map of the school campus and had recently used a school computer for information on a platform to support a .22-caliber rifle, according to the affidavit.

A student informed school officials about the plot — Chavez apparently tried to recruit classmates — and the school officials called police. No one was injured.

Bartlesville is about 50 miles north of Tulsa. School district patrons are scheduled to vote Sept. 10 on whether the district should raise taxes to beef up security.

Chavez’ mother has said her son sent her a text message two days before his arrest saying that he wanted to “shoot up” the high school because he thought some students were talking about him behind his back. But she also said she didn’t think her son would have carried out the attack.

In May, a judge found Chavez competent to stand trial after a mental competency examination was ordered by the court.

Chavez’ defense attorney did not respond to a message seeking comment Monday. A number listed in court records for Chavez’ home in Bartlesville was not working when dialed Monday.