Computer Programmer Admits Selling Weapon to Columbine Gunmen
Wednesday, August 18th 1999, 12:00 am
News On 6
GOLDEN, Colo. (AP) -- A 22-year-old computer programmer pleaded
guilty today, admitting he sold a semiautomatic pistol to the
Columbine gunmen and purchased 100 rounds of ammunition for one of
them the night before the deadly rampage.
Mark Manes told authorities gunman Eric Harris asked him to
purchase the ammunition, prosecutor Steve Jensen said.
When he delivered the two boxes, "Manes asked if he (Harris)
was going to go shooting that night and he said no, the next day,"
Manes pleaded guilty to supplying a weapon to a minor and
possession of a sawed-off shotgun. The ammo purchase -- which was
not disclosed until today -- was legal, Jensen said.
Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, killed 12 fellow students, a
teacher and then themselves April 20 at Columbine High School. It
was the worst school shooting in U.S. history.
At the time the two bought the gun from Manes in January, Harris
also was 17 and thus underage.
During a brief court appearance, Manes looked mostly at the
floor, answering District Judge Henry Nieto's questions with
"yes" or "no." His parents sat in the front row of the
spectator section. Manes faces from one to 18 years in prison when
he is sentenced Oct. 14.
Attorney Robert Ransome, who represents Manes, said the family
wants to take responsibility for Manes' role in the crime.
Manes is one of two people who were accused of helping Harris
and Klebold acquire the TEC-DC 9 semiautomatic pistol, one of four
weapons used in the rampage.
A former Columbine student, Manes purchased the weapon at a gun
show last fall. Philip Duran, a pizza shop employee who worked with
Harris and Klebold, is accused of introducing them to Manes when
Duran learned they were looking for weapons.
Duran, 22, is scheduled to appear in court next week. He is
charged with providing a gun to a minor, which carries a maximum
sentence of six years in prison and a $500,000 fine.
Harris and Klebold also used two shotguns and a rifle legally
purchased by Klebold's friend Robyn Anderson. Under Colorado law,
an 18-year-old without a felony record can furnish minors with
rifles and shotguns. Investigators have characterized Ms. Anderson
as a witness, not a suspect.