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Utah boy arrested after teacher finds him with alleged hit list

Published April 26, 2013 8:29 pm

Courts • Teacher found note naming six middle-school students, police say.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A 14-year-old Heber City boy remained in custody Friday, two days after school officials called police upon discovering him with an alleged hit list of six fellow students.

Heber City Police Chief Dave Booth said his officers were called to Rocky Mountain Middle School on Wednesday afternoon. The boy was being held in a Utah County juvenile detention facility pending a court hearing to determine whether he will be released to his parents or kept incarcerated.

"This was great work on the school's part, being aware of the environment and that something was wrong," Booth said. "We treated this very seriously and as aggressively as we could from a law enforcement standpoint."

A teacher had noticed that the boy was "acting funny and had a paper in his hand," and asked the youth what was wrong. Initially, the boy refused to let the teacher see the paper, but eventually relented. That was when the teacher saw the note was entitled, "People I want to kill."

Booth said the teacher took the boy to the principal's office and the school then called police. Booth said the boy indicated he was being bullied, but the circumstances of the allegations were murky.

Wasatch School District spokesman Jason Watt said the boy had, per school policy, immediately been suspended pending the outcome of the police investigation.

As for the suggested motive of the boy, Watt said the school's own review thus far had not "discovered any significant bullying aspects."

Booth said the youth was being held on suspicion of six counts of harassment and six counts of threatening a life.

remims@sltrib.com

Twitter: @remims