COLUMBUS, Kan. – The Kansas attorney general has dismissed the most serious charge against one of five teenagers accused of planning to attack their high school, a spokesman said Thursday.
The students were arrested April 20 after a message about an alleged shooting plot at Riverton High School in southeast Kansas appeared on the social networking Web site Myspace.com.
James Tillman, 16, had been charged with felony solicitation of first-degree murder. He will now face one felony juvenile count each of incitement to riot and making a criminal threat, Jan Lunsford, a spokesman for Attorney General Phill Kline, said from Topeka, Kan.
Dismissal of the more serious charge followed further investigation, said Kline spokeswoman Sherriene Jones. "The attorney general's office only modifies charges when we feel a charge is no longer appropriate based on the evidence," she said.
The other four teens accused in the plot face the same charges. All five are scheduled to appear in court Aug. 9.
Authorities have said the five students planned to wear black trench coats and disable the school's camera system before starting a shooting rampage April 20, the seventh anniversary of the Columbine High massacre in Colorado.
Sheriff's deputies found guns, ammunition, knives and coded messages in the bedroom of one suspect and references to Armageddon in two suspects' school lockers.