Judge Sentences Bartlesville Teen Sammie Chavez In School Violence Plot

Tuesday, November 12th 2013, 11:41 am
By: News On 6

A former Bartlesville High School student was sentenced to two and a half years in prison Tuesday.

Sammie Chavez was convicted of planning to shoot and kill students, teachers and first responders at his school.

Sammie Chavez did not comment after being sentenced, but he was seen smiling while talking to his mother afterward. The prosecution was hoping this case would have a different ending, but, still, they say it sends a good message.

Sammie Chavez was convicted in September of planning a Columbine-style shooting at Bartlesville High School. But the jury found him not guilty of actually conspiring to recruit other students and recommended 30 months in prison

According to state law, the judge couldn't go any higher and sentenced Chavez to those two and a half years with credit for time served.

"I'm happy with this. I'm very happy with this, and I can't wait for Sammie to come home," said his mother, Jessie Chavez.

11/8/2013 Related Story: Bartlesville School Staff Want Maximum Sentence For Teen Who Plotted Shooting

In the pre-sentence investigation, teachers and administrators at Bartlesville High School had asked the judge for a strong sentence to show others that his behavior is unacceptable.

District Attorney Kevin Buchanan said the judge's hands were tied, but the jury heard the evidence and thought the 30-month sentence was appropriate.

"I know they're disappointed he's not in jail longer. I certainly asked the jury to consider more time than 30 months and they made their decision, and I respect that," Buchanan said.

Chavez's mother said her son is not the menace he's been made out to be. She said he's been named a trustee at the Washington County jail, a sign that he's behaving, and he has a job waiting at a Bartlesville church when he gets out of prison.

"He's not a danger, he's not a threat. He's an awesome, misunderstood young man, plain and simple," Jessie Chavez said.

Buchanan said this was a challenging case, because Chavez never gathered the weapons or supplies to go through with his plan.

In the future, he said he'll look closer at those factors before deciding what charges to file.

"Each case in the future, I think, is going to depend to some degree on those facts. The degree to which somebody has actually gone to follow through with their plan and prepared to carry out some sort of violent act," Buchanan said.

Chavez has also been ordered to stay away from Bartlesville High School and to not have any contact with any of the school's employees.