A teenager plotted to pull off a Columbine-style attack on his former high school, the second time in three years he has been accused of such a plot.
Christopher Franko, who turned 18 today, was ordered held without bail after his court-appointed attorney entered a not guilty plea to felony conspiracy. Franko and a female friend were arrested in early May on misdemeanor conspiracy, but a grand jury voted to upgrade the charges. The teens were plotting to attack Connetquot High School in Riverhead, N.Y. this Thursday with shotguns and explosives, prosecutors said. Their plan was to kill a security guard in front of the school, then go inside and shoot as many students as possible, Assistant District Attorney Glenn Kurtzrock said. Once police arrived at the school, the pair planned to fire at officers before ultimately killing themselves, the prosecutor added.
Their plot was thwarted in part when their attempts to purchase a shotgun at a local sporting goods store were rejected because neither teen was 18. Prosecutors say Franko intended to return to the store today to make the purchase. Kurtzrock said he could not explain a motive, other than Franko had apparently been teased by classmates — a slight he never forgot.
If convicted, Franko could be sentenced to up to 25 years in prison.