Teenager pleads not guilty to Washington school shootings
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A teenager charged with killing one classmate and wounding three others at a Washington state high school in 2017 pleaded not guilty in adult court on Friday.
Judge Michael Price ruled last month that 17-year-old Caleb Sharpe, who was 15 at the time of the shootings, would be tried as an adult. Sharpe, who is being held on $1 million bail, will go on trial Oct. 7.
He faces one charge of premeditated first-degree murder, three charges of attempted first-degree murder and 51 second-degree assault charges in the shootings at Freeman High School.
Student Sam Strahan, 15, was killed and three girls were wounded. Defense attorney Bevan Maxey said the new trial date is unrealistic and that Sharpe’s parents could no longer afford a private attorney.
Sharpe told law enforcement officers after his arrest that he had thought about the shootings for two years, prosecutor Larry Haskell said.
“His intent was mass casualties,” Haskell said, calling it a miracle that the AR-15-style rifle Sharpe brought from home jammed, forcing the youth to use a handgun.
Maxey argued that his client lacked maturity and good decision-making skills, but could be rehabilitated.
The Associated Press typically doesn’t name juvenile suspects but is doing so because of the seriousness of the accusations and because Sharpe’s name was released in public documents.