A 17-year-old student has pleaded no contest to conspiracy to commit murder for plotting a mass shooting in 2016 at a high school in Hilliard, Ohio.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that John T. Staley was arrested in October 2016 after a fellow student told a school resource officer at Davidson High School in Hilliard that he heard Staley discussing the plot on a school bus.
Staley was charged with a delinquency count of conspiracy to commit murder. A judge transferred the case to adult court in September.
Staley began speaking with fellow students in person and through an instant messaging app about committing a mass shooting during the 2015-2016 school year, and continued the plot into 2016-2017, prosecutors say. Two students feigned interest in assisting Staley.
By the time police became aware of his plans, Staley had created at least three diagrams to map out the shooting and conducted extensive internet searches about school shootings and how to obtain guns and ammunition and make explosives. A search of the home he shared with his parents uncovered four gas masks and a tactical vest.
Investigators searched Staley’s computer, cellphone and school-issued iPad and found Nazi, neo-Nazi and racist information and imagery, as well as sites glorifying school shooters.
Staley could be sentenced to as many as 11 years in adult prison. The conviction carries a presumption of prison, but Staley also could receive probation.