The trial for the last defendant arrested in connection with an alleged plot to bomb the Moffat County High School and courthouse began this morning and ended almost immediately.
Tony Jacob, 16, went on trial facing charges of terrorist training activities and felony stalking at 9 a.m. today. As soon as proceedings began, a plea agreement was announced.
Jacob pleaded guilty to possession of a weapon on school grounds, a class 6 felony, and unlawful conduct on public property, a class 3 misdemeanor.
According to Hammond, Jacob was found with a pocketknife that had a 2 and 3/4-inch blade while on school property.
District Court Judge Joel Thompson set Jacob's sentencing hearing for May 6.
Thompson also ordered the probation department to create a pre-sentence recommendation report. Jacob is required to cooperate with the probation department for this process.
Jacob's only responses during the proceedings were a litany of "Yes, sir"s to Thompson's questions and the response of "Guilty" after he was asked how he pleaded to each of the charges in the plea agreement.
The district attorney's office offered this deal because regardless of whether Jacob was found guilty of felonies or pleaded guilty to lesser charges, Jacob faces the same sentencing options because he is a minor, Chief Deputy District Attorney David Waite said.
"The reality of the situation is it doesn't matter if Jacob pled guilty to a misdemeanor and a felony or was found guilty of higher felonies he faces the same possible sentences being a juvenile," Waite said. "From our standpoint, since there are the same sentences, if he's willing to admit guilt to the lesser charges and we don't have to go through a trial, this is the best choice.
"We're clearly still concerned, and we clearly have the same chances to work with this kid (from this plea agreement)."
Thompson made clear to Jacob the sentencing options Thompson has in respect to this agreement, and that there were no sentencing restrictions built into the agreement.
Possible sentences for Jacob include being placed in the Grand Mesa Youth Services Center in Grand Junction for up to 45 days, a fine of up to $300, submitting to psychological or medical examinations and being remanded to any facility so examinations could be conducted. He could also be placed in the custody of Social Services and sent to a juvenile care facility, be ordered to perform community service, and ordered to pay any restitution.
Waite said the district attorney's office would recommend probation with stringent conditions and mandatory counseling.
Jacob, Stephen Jackman, 17, and Tommy Elam, 15, were arrested on Dec. 21 for allegedly planning to bomb the Moffat County Courthouse and Moffat County High School. All three students were originally charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and terrorist training activities. Jacob was also charged with felony stalking.
Jacob was released from the Grand Mesa Youth Services Center in Grand Junction on Feb. 12 as part of a pre-adjudication plan.
He was remanded to the custody of his mother, Luetta Jacob, and was residing in Missouri until this morning's trial.
Jacob will return to Missouri until a May 6 sentencing hearing, according to Jacob's lawyer, Kris Hammonds.
In the other cases, both Jackman and Elam pleaded guilty to unlawful conduct on public property on Jan. 29.
Jackman received a deferred judgement and sentence as a part of the plea agreement and is currently residing with his father, Karl Jackman, in Lyman, Wyo.
In Elam's agreement, he also pleaded guilty to criminal mischief for another case pending from 2001 and he violated his probation stemming from a conviction in 2000. Thompson ordered that he serve three sentences of two years of supervised probation.
Elam is serving the sentences concurrently at Shiloh Home juvenile facility in Craig.