Teen pleads guilty to Waseca school bomb plot, but should avoid jail time

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A teenager accused of plotting to bomb a school pleaded guilty to charges against him Friday afternoon, but is likely to avoid jail time.

John LaDue, 18, of Waseca, pleaded guilty to one counrt felony possession of an explosive or incendiary device, WCCO reports.

His confession is part of a plea deal that will see him temporarily placed in a treatment facility for autism spectrum patients, and keep him on probation for 5 years.

LaDue was arrested in April 2014 after police found bomb-making materials in a storage locker along with a journal outlining plans to kill his family and attack the Waseca Junior-Senior High School.

The Waseca County News reports that after spending time in the autism spectrum facility, he will be sent to a halfway house before being released back into the community.

Upon his release, he was told he would be under "intense" supervision, and that breaking his probation would lead to a 22-month prison sentence.

The newspaper adds it was initially thought that attorneys for LaDue, who has a condition previously known as Asperger's syndrome, would ask for all six charges of possessing explosive devices be dropped, but then the plea for one count was entered in what was called an "unexpected" turn of events.

The Star Tribune reports that prosecutors had originally pursued stronger charges against the teenager, including attempted murder, but most of them were rejected by the judge.

LaDue's lawyers had argued that prosecutors didn't even have enough evidence to charge him with the six lesser charges, saying the so-called "bombs" weren't in a condition where they could be considered destructive.

LaDue will be officially sentenced on Oct. 19.

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