Teens get twenty years in prison, 20 on probation in school mass murder plot – Cherokee Tribune Ledger News
CANTON – Former Etowah High School trainees Alfred Dupree and Victoria McCurley were sentenced to 20 years in prison and another 20 on probation in Cherokee County Superior Court on Tuesday.
The then-seniors at Etowah were apprehended in October 2017 when Woodstock cops were tipped off to declared strategies to kill trainees and teachers at the school. Private investigators searched the houses of the two suspects and found journals that consisted of a “kill list,” a dish for napalm and maps of parts of the school’s campus. An “incendiary device” was found at one of the trainees’ houses. They were detained prior to any attack happened.
They pleaded guilty Friday to all charges, which were six counts of conspiracy to devote murder, one count of conspiracy to commit arson and one count of illegal ownership of a devastating gadget. Then, both the prosecution and defense presented proof for Judge Ellen McElyea to consider in passing sentence.
In addition to the jail time and probation, both Dupree, 19, and McCurley, 18, were prohibited from visiting Cherokee County after their release, having contact with each other, or with the individuals on the “kill list” or their households.
In closing declarations, Assistant District Attorney Rachelle Carnesale had asked for the sentence that McElyea eventually imposed. Defense attorneys had actually asked for 15 years, with 3 served in jail and credit for time currently served in the Cherokee County prison. Both accuseds have actually been jailed considering that their arrest, an overall of 19 months.
Plans that Dupree and McCurley described in their journals consisted of using smoke bombs to “corral” individuals into crowded areas and using napalm and guns to eliminate as lots of people as possible, Carnesale said.
McCurley confessed in court Friday afternoon to telling private investigators, “We ‘d like to get our numbers up higher than Las Vegas,” describing the Oct. 1, 2017, mass shooting in which 58 individuals were eliminated and 422 were injured.
Over parts of three days of testimony throughout the sentencing hearing, lawyers and witnesses painted a portrait of Dupree and McCurley as 2 unhappy, self-destructive teenagers with psychological health issues, who plotted an attack they were unlikely to perform.
Dupree’s legal representative Paul Ghanouni in his closing statement pointed out that the pair had not collected a toolbox of weapons to make good on the large scale attack they fantasized about. He likewise said they did not have the ways to carry out their plans. “When he was jailed Alfred had less than $100 to his name and lived wage to wage,” Ghanouni stated in his closing declaration on Tuesday. Earlier in the day McCurley’s stepfather Jonathan Smith affirmed she had no money of her own and that whenever she needed something, he gave her loan for it.
Carnesale said the Etowah mass murder plot was an attack, that if performed “would resound for generations,” in Cherokee County. That the attack did not occur wasn’t because Dupree and McCurley “deserted their plans,” however since a relative of among the defendants reported it and investigators took the report seriously, Carnesale said.
” The words ‘if you see something, say something,’ operated in this case,” Carnesale said. She said the finest way to guarantee the neighborhood’s safety was to send out Dupree and McCurley to prison for a considerable duration.
Prior to handing down the sentences, McElyea, stated she had actually listened to hours of McCurley’s discussions with investigators. She said McCurley’s words suggested the friends’ were “likely to bring the conspiracy to its end.”
Both of the offenders said sorry in court for their actions, including calling all of the people listed on their “kill list.”
Before McElyea took a quick recess Tuesday afternoon to think about the sentences, relatives of those on the kill list, as well as the teacher on it checked out declarations to the court.
The defendants’ former teacher stated she had actually taken pleasure in having Dupree and McCurley in her class.
” All of us believed we had an excellent relationship with Gabby (McCurley) and Alfred,” the instructor said. However, individuals on the list now “all fear that we would be their future targets.”
A relative of one of the targeted trainees stated that she and other member of the family of those on the list have all the normal concerns about their loved ones, and now “the concern is multiplied beyond measure.”
” They get to imagine the day they will be launched,” the lady stated of Dupree and McCurley. “We have to deal with the dread of the day they are launched.”