NORRISTOWN, Pa. — He's just a kid.
That's what struck me when the 14-year-old accused of plotting a "Columbine-style attack" on the local high school shuffled into court.
Dillon Cossey was handcuffed and shackled at the ankles. Short and heavy, he wore a green T-shirt, gray prison pants and sandals with white socks.
He just turned 14 in May, but he faces some very grown-up charges, including conspiracy and solicitation to commit murder and conspiracy to commit terrorist acts.
His mom, Michele, now faces five counts of her own, including three felonies related to buying weapons for her baby-faced boy, who'd allegedly been picked on and bullied since the 4th grade so much so that she pulled him from public school and let him get his lessons off the Web. The DA says there are serious parenting issues here, which seems to be a statement of the obvious. She apparently bought the kid whatever he wanted, spoiling him because of his troubles outside the home, but the problems are now far greater.
Michele had tears in her eyes when Dillon began his shuffle to the door behind the judge's bench. He looked at her, so I did too. She made a hand sign with her pinky and first finger extended, like a "rock and roll" gesture, and said "I love you."
Then, she pushed her walker out of court and made her way past the reporters and cameras without a word.
Rick Leventhal has been a New York-based correspondent with the FOX News Channel since June 1997. You can read his bio here.