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Teen Accused of Waseca Attack Plot Pleads Not Guilty

Updated: 05/12/2014 6:21 PM
Created: 05/12/2014 12:37 PM KSTP.com
By: Todd Wilson

A 17-year-old boy in Waseca has pleaded not guilty to charges that he plotted to kill his family and then stage an attack on his school.
    
John La Due wore arm and leg shackles and an orange jumpsuit as deputies escorted him into the courthouse for his appearance Monday in Waseca County. He answered Judge Gerald Wolf's questions in a calm, clear voice.
    
Wolf ordered a study to determine whether the boy should be charged as an adult. The study will include psychological exams and is expected to take several weeks.
    
Prosecutors say the teenager outlined his plan for a school attack in a 180-page journal. He was arrested at a storage locker that authorities say contained bomb-making materials, and had numerous guns in his room.

We talked to La Due's public defender after the hearing. She wants more from investigators.

"There often is a difference between the raw notes and the final type written product in the police report so it's disappointing that they've destroyed them all," Public Defender Dawn Johnson said.

Prosecutors asked to move La Due from a Red Wing detention facility to Lino Lakes, the judge denied the request.

"They want to move him to Lino Lakes solely for the convenience of the states expert who will be doing the certification study," she said.

La Due's next hearing is set for June 18 in Waseca County. It's a probable cause hearing for charges and it is when a certification hearing date will be set. He'll be able to wear street clothes provided by his family instead of the orange jumpsuit.

The prosecutor and La Due's family declined to speak to KSTP.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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