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Minnesota teen accused of plotting mass killing pleads not guilty

Forum News Service

WASECA, Minn. -- The southern Minnesota teenager accused of plotting to kill his family and slaughter students and staff at his school pleaded not guilty Monday.

John David LaDue, 17, was charged as a juvenile with four counts of attempted first degree murder, two counts of first degree attempted criminal damage to property and six counts of possession of an explosive or incendiary device by a person under age 18.

He pleaded not guilty Monday in Waseca County District Court, the Waseca County News reported on its website.

He had planned to kill his family, set a fire in rural Waseca to distract authorities and then head to the building that houses Waseca's junior and senior high schools, with more than 900 students, Waseca Police Captain Kris Markeson told a news conference after LaDue’s arrest.

Based on LaDue's account to police and his journal, he planned to set off numerous bombs during lunch, kill a school resource officer as he responded to help, then set fires and shoot students and staff before being killed by law enforcement officers, Markeson said.

A tip of a suspicious person near a storage unit in Waseca led authorities to bomb-making materials at the storage unit and to LaDue, who was arrested April 29.