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2 fifth-grade boys competent to stand trial on murder conspiracy charge

A northeast Washington judge has found two boys, ages 10 and 11, competent to stand trial in juvenile court on a murder conspiracy charge.

Stevens County Prosecutor Tim Rasmussen says the fifth-graders had a handwritten plan listing seven steps leading up to the planned killing of a female classmate. That list was submitted as evidence at their mental capacity hearing Friday.

A county judge ruled that the boys understood the nature and consequences of their actions. They pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit murder, witness tampering and juvenile possession of a firearm.

The boys were arrested Feb. 7 at Fort Colville Elementary School after a fourth-grader saw one playing with a knife on a school bus and told a school employee. A backpack search also turned up a .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol and ammunition.

The Spokesman Review reports (http://is.gd/MiK1al ) the boys are being held on $100,000 bond each. Both a defense psychiatrist and a state psychologist say they present a danger to the community.

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Information from: The Spokesman-Review, http://www.spokesman.com