Teen charged in Waseca school bomb plot will be tried as adult

Author:
Updated:
Original:

The Waseca teenager arrested in connection with what prosecutors say was a plot to attack his school will be tried as an adult.

John LaDue, who was 17 when he was first arrested, was ordered to adult court by Judge Robert Birnbaum Friday, KAAL reports.

KSTP uploaded the 24-page order online – click here to read it.

In the document, the judge writes adult certification will address the public safety concerns, and also meet the needs for treatment and rehabilitation.

Now 18, LaDue was arrested after small explosive devices were found on an elementary school playground in March 2014. In the criminal complaint filed at the time, authorities claimed he planned to kill his family, then detonate bombs at the local school.

He was charged with multiple counts of premeditated attempted murder, possessing explosives, and attempted damage to property.

Last summer, a judge dismissed the most serious charges initially filed against LaDue – four counts of premeditated attempted murder, plus two counts of attempted damage to property. He said the prosecution had not provided enough evidence to prove that LaDue’s actions went beyond “preparations,” the legal bar that has to be hurdled.

So what's still standing are six counts of possessing explosive devices.

His defense team had argued the juvenile system would adequately deal with LaDue, and that the remaining charges were exaggerated because they were part of the dismissed charges' broader plot, the Waseca County News reports.

But prosecutors said LaDue is a risk to public safety and – with only a couple years until he's 21 – argued he won't get the help he needs in the juvenile system, the paper says.

In June, psychologists testified about LaDue as part of the process to determine whether he should be tried as an adult. At the time, some noted psychological treatment can be mandated in the juvenile system, but not in the adult system, where it would have to be voluntary.

LaDue will be transferred immediately from a juvenile center to Waseca County Jail, as he awaits his first court appearance, KSTP notes. The County News says he's expected to be in court Monday, and his lawyer has 30 days to file an appeal.

Next Up

Kyle Rudolph

Rudolph sends farewell to Vikings fans in Players Tribune piece

"Every season I played here, every game I played here — you all believed."

Megan Ryan

Star Tribune's Megan Ryan named new Twins beat reporter

Ryan replaces LaVelle E. Neal who is now in a columnist role.

minnetonka MME

Minnetonka in spotlight after teacher threatened for discussing Black trans woman

Parents and community members are calling on the district to do better and will hold a march prior to the school board meeting on Thursday.

Richard Pitino

Talk grows that this season will be Pitino's last at Gophers

A report says Pitino's tenure could be "down to his final games."

Screen Shot 2021-03-02 at 1.40.17 PM

Two gas trucks collide in Stearns County, neither explodes

The unlikely collision happened Monday afternoon.

unnamed (1)

MSP Airport expecting spring break to be busiest period since pandemic began

Passenger numbers will still be about a third lower than a year ago, though.

Target store

After bumper earnings, Target will accelerate new store openings

The retailer has revealed its plans for the next few years, which includes an investment in Minneapolis.

starbucks wayzata

100% plant-based restaurant coming to Wayzata this spring

The restaurant has plans to add additional locations in Minnesota this summer and franchise nationwide.

Patric Richardson

'Laundry Evangelist' from St. Paul gets his own Discovery+ show

Patric Richardson has built a career around the appreciation and care of clothing.

Related