The case of a teenager who wanted to set the highest mortality rate for a school shooter has highlighted a gray area in the law after serious accusations against him were omitted for concerns about & # 39; prosecution of thoughts & # 39 ;.
Jack Sawyer, now 19, from Vermont, a former student of Fair Haven Union High School, located in a small town near the New York border, came to the attention of the police after the shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on Valentine's Day 2018.
The day before, Sawyer had purchased a brand-new pump-action shotgun and four boxes of ammunition from Dick's Sporting Goods in Rutland.
Jack Sawyer (photo above) made by Vermont State Police on February 15, 2018. He was accused of planning to hurry up & # 39; his former high school
After the massacre in Parkland that had killed 17 teachers and students, Sawyer came to the attention of the police.
He was reported by a student at Fair Haven Union, Jennifer Mortenson, who had heard that Sawyer had bought a gun and was aware that he had threats against his former high school in the past, as reported by NPR.
Sawyer was arrested after his friend, Angela McDevitt, contacted the police on February 15 to tell them that days before Parkland Sawyer said he & # 39; was planning to shoot my old high school & # 39 ;.
On the day of the shooting at Stoneman Douglas, she informed him to tell him about the incident to which he had responded. & # 39; That's fantastic & # 39 ;, he wrote. & # 39; 100% support it. & # 39;
Police interviewed Sawyer, who explained his plans in detail, including how he had read books about the Columbine shooting in 1999 and that he was returning to Vermont to implement a similar plan at his old high school.
In custody, Sawyer revealed that he had been thinking about attacking his old school (see above) and wanted to set a new record, the highest number of deaths for a school shooter, killing more than 32 people
The police who searched his car found the gun and the ammunition he had legally purchased and a diary called & # 39; The Journal of an Active Shooter & # 39 ;.
In custody, Sawyer revealed that he had been thinking about attacking his old school and he wanted to set a new record, the highest number of deaths for a school shooting, killing more than 32 people.
& # 39; If I ever die, I wish it were, & he said to the police. His addition would only delay his plans.
Sawyer was accused of four crimes by Rose Kennedy, the state attorney for Rutland County, two counts of attempted aggravation, and one counts every attempt at first-line murder and severe assault with a deadly weapon.
Attempted aggravated murder has the same punishment as an assassination attempt, that is, living in prison, with no possibility of conditional release.
Camera film by Sawyer in custody. He was charged with two counts of attempted aggravation, and one counts every attempt at first-line murder and severe assault with a deadly weapon
Sawyer's public defender, Kelly Green, believed the charge had gone too far by saying that her client had not committed any crime.
Instead, Green wanted a court order to place Sawyer in a psychiatric hospital to get help.
As a young adult, Sawyer was described as & # 39; funny and kind, as a bit shy and distant. & # 39;
In 10th grade he was reportedly further and further removed, wrote disturbing things on Facebook and brought a book about the Columbine massacre to school.
A school plan was drawn up in 2016 by staff, aid workers and law enforcement officers to keep Sawyer and his school safe.
However, he stopped before the plan could be discussed or implemented.
Shortly thereafter, a friend told Sawyer's mother, Lyn Wolk, that her son had suicidal thoughts.
Jack Sawyer, center, appears in Vermont Superior Court for his hearing, Tuesday, April 17, 2018. The four major serious allegations against him were dropped after the judges ruled that Sawyer had been willing to commit the crime, but that was not the same intention & # 39; as an attempt & # 39; a crime
After Sawyer was sued, legal experts in Vermont questioned the charge and asked & # 39; Should anyone be allowed to think & # 39 ;, I want to record my old school or even write it down and then buy a gun? & # 39; & # 39;
They also wondered if the accusations meant that Vermont was on a slippery slope of & # 39; prosecution thought & # 39; ended up.
Sawyer & # 39; s lawyers argued that Sawyer had not committed any of the crimes he was accused of and therefore could not be held without bail.
The case went to the state Supreme Court and in April 2018, Kennedy argued that Sawyer would return by & # 39; to Vermont from Maine and give so many details about the planned attack & # 39; the murder act had begun & # 39 ;.
& # 39; If that happens, does it matter what he does next? & # 39; Justice Harold Eaton asked during the proceedings: & # 39; He could say: & # 39; You know, I've changed my mind, & throws the weapon, goes back to Maine. He's still guilty? & # 39;
When he heard about the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High, (photo above), Sawyer told a friend in a message: & # 39; that's fantastic & # 39 ;, he wrote. & # 39; 100% support it & # 39;
Sawyer & # 39; s defense said the teenager was arrested almost a month earlier than the date he had chosen for his attack.
At the end of the trial, the judges ruled that Sawyer had been willing to commit the crime, but that was not the same as & # 39; a crime & # 39; to attempt.
He was released on bail, a move that forced Kennedy to reject all four crimes.
Before the serious accusations against him were rejected, two crime officers were added by Kennedy to bring the case of Sawyer to justice.
Ten thousand dollars were deposited on bail and Sawyer checked in a psychiatric hospital in Vermont. He was instructed to stay away from Fair Haven Union High School and from Angela McDevitt, who had reported him to the police.
In March 2019, Sawyer's case was settled in the family court in March. The 19-year-old (pictured above) was tried as a juvenile offender for carrying a dangerous weapon, a crime
Kennedy said she respected the Supreme Court ruling, but she wondered what would happen if the next Jack Sawyer came by, NPR reported.
& # 39; There must be a place where law enforcement authorities must be able to act to prevent a horrific crime occurring much earlier in this continuum than when someone actually turns up to commit the act, & # 39; she said.
Just a few months after Sawyer was arrested and based on his case, the Vermont legislature adopted a new law & # 39; domestic terrorism & # 39; adopted.
The law, House Bill 25, makes it a crime to participate in or take substantial steps toward causing the death or serious injury of multiple people, or threatening people with violence or abduction.
A person convicted of the charge can be sentenced to 20 years in prison.
In March 2019, Sawyer's case was resolved in family law. The 19-year-old was tried as a juvenile offender for carrying a dangerous weapon, a crime.
Sawyer is in a safe residential treatment room outside of Vermont, according to his mother, Wolk.
He will remain under the supervision of the Corrections Department and the Department for Children and Families of Vermont until his 22nd birthday.
Sawyer is in a secure home treatment center outside of Vermont, according to his mother, Lyn Wolk
According to the state attorney, he is not allowed to possess firearms.
Some students and five staff members left Fair Haven Union High School in the light of the case.
Social studies teacher Julia Adams stayed and told NPR that she is angry and that Sawyer will one day carry out his threat.
& # 39; Who knows if he gets the help he needs or if something will ever change with him. … You don't take any more threats, & Adams added.
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