Teen who threatened Columbine gets deferred sentence

Tuesday, December 14th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

GOLDEN, Colo. (AP) -- A 17-year-old accused of threatening to "finish the job" of the teen-age killers at Columbine High School received a deferred sentence Tuesday after pleading guilty to two minor charges.

The boy, an acquaintance of killers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, was ordered to participate in a juvenile diversion program for one year, said Pam Russell, spokeswoman for the Jefferson County District Attorney's office.

She said the boy had seen a therapist who reported he was no threat to himself or others.

"The prosecution, the judge, everyone who looked at this case concluded that this kid had some emotional problems. Beyond that, he posed no danger," said defense attorney Jeffrey Springer.

The teen, whose name cannot be released because he is a juvenile, pleaded guilty to one count of interfering with staff, faculty or students in an educational facility and one count of theft , Ms. Russell said. Both were misdemeanor charges.

The student was arrested on Oct. 19, the day before the six-month anniversary of the massacre. Harris, 18, and Klebold, 17, killed 12 fellow students and a teacher before committing suicide April 20.

District Judge Christopher Munch told the teen that if he fails to meet any of the program conditions he could be imprisoned for the rest of the yearlong sentence.