MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Some of the most serious charges facing the Waseca teen accused of planning to bomb his school and kill his parents have been dismissed.
According to court documents filed on Monday, a judge dismissed the four counts of premeditated murder facing 17-year-old John LaDue for lacking probable cause. The judge said that the state failed to show that the teen made substantial steps, beyond preparation, toward killing anyone.
In his order, Judge Gerald Wolf wrote that while LaDue was preparing to shoot his parents, sister and a school security officer, the teen never threatened or brandished a gun in front of his would-be victims. He just wrote about doing so.
“It would be pure speculation for this Court to assume that [LaDue] would have followed through,” Wolf wrote.
The judge also dismissed two counts of damage to property facing LaDue.
The teen, however, still faces multiple charges of possessing explosives.
LaDue was arrested in April after he was spotted acting suspicious outside a self-storage facility. When police searched the locker and later his room, they found guns, bomb-making equipment and a 180-page notebook detailing plans to re-create a Columbine-style massacre.
According to the criminal complaint, LaDue told officers he planned to “shoot and kill as many students as he could.”
He also admitted to detonating explosives on Waseca school playgrounds.
In an interview with authorities, LaDue said he considers himself to be mentally ill.
“I have good parents, I live in a good town,” LaDue told police. “I think I’m just really mentally ill and no one’s noticed and I’ve been trying to hide it.”
LaDue’s father said last month that he doubts his son would have gone through with the plot.