Teen accused of shooting 4 classmates faces more charges

A judge on Wednesday set a date to determine if Caleb Sharpe will be tried as an adult in the Oct. 13 shooting at Freeman High School.

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Prosecutors filed 51 new charges Wednesday against a 15-year-old boy accused of fatally shooting a classmate and wounding three others at his rural Washington state high school.

Caleb Sharpe already has been charged with first-degree murder and three counts of attempted first-degree murder in the Sept. 13 shooting at Freeman High School near the tiny town of Rockford. He previously pleaded not guilty.

Spokane County prosecutors upgraded the murder charge to premeditated murder and added 51 counts of assault, representing other students in the vicinity of the gunfire, according to court documents.

Sharpe also appeared in court for the first time, where a judge said a decision on whether to try the teen as an adult will not occur until next year. In juvenile court, Spokane County Superior Court Judge Michael Price set an April 2 date for a weeklong hearing, saying the case was too complex to hold it within 14 days as required by law.

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Defense attorney Bevan Maxey agreed with the delay, though his client will remain in custody.

“I have all kinds of concern for him being in jail,” Maxey said. “This is a process that is going to take place. Everybody needs to be properly prepared.”

The Associated Press doesn’t typically name juvenile suspects but is doing so because of the severity of the accusations and because Sharpe’s name was released in public documents.

“We would prefer he be handled as a juvenile,” the defense attorney said. “That’s what he is; 15 years old.”

Family members of Sharpe and the victims filled the small courtroom but did not talk to reporters afterward. Sharpe did not speak at the hearing.

Court documents released Wednesday say Sharpe determined whether to carry out the shooting by flipping a coin. Detectives wrote in court documents that heads meant Sharpe would shoot students and tails meant he would not do it and never think about it again. The coin landed on heads, according to documents.

Sharpe also told detectives that he had been watching documentaries of other school shootings, including Columbine and Sandy Hook, for about a year, court documents said.

The documents said Sharpe told detectives about loading his father’s assault rifle into a golf bag and…

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