Two Teens Accused Of School-Bomb Plot Found Not Guilty

September 16, 2009

UK (ChattahBox) – Two teens who were accused of planning a Columbine-inspired bombing of a school and shopping center have been found not guilty.

Matthew Swift and Ross McKnight were arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit murder and to create explosions likely to harm life and property earlier this years.

But the two boys, aged 16 and 18, maintained that the journal entries and sketches that they had done between 2007 and 2009 were merely a fantasy, and that they had never planned on committing the acts.

“I would like to make it clear that at no time was any person put at risk either at Audenshaw High School or Crown Point North Shopping Centre,” McKnight said in a statement after the ‘not guilty’ verdict was read, and the two had been released.

“This was merely a fantasy and not a reality.”

The journal entries repeatedly spoke in admiration about Harris and Klebold, the Columbine killers who killed 12 students in a massacre that had originally been meant to kill hundreds, including first responders and media, in a three wave attack.

Both shooters committed suicide after the bombs failed to detonate.

The notes also included sketched blueprints of Audenshaw High School, and various rants against the world. It was these notes that first brought attention to the two, and led prosecutors to charge them as adults.

But the defense maintains that the prosecution was ridiculous to handle this as a serious case.

“I think this was an unnecessary, heavy-handed prosecution against two young lads who could have been dealt with in a more sensitive way,” one of the defense attorneys, Roderick Carus, said.

But prosecutor John Lord disagrees.

“The case brought against Matthew Swift and Ross McKnight was, we believe, one that was as equally strong as serious. As such we felt it was in the public interest to ensure that the charges against the defendants were given the full scrutiny of a jury.”

The two are now hoping to move on with their lives, after having spent the last 6 months in jail pending a resolution.



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