Roberts Elementary students accused of plotting to assault classmate

Published: Jan. 16, 2019 at 3:24 PM EST
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By: WCTV Eyewitness News

January 16, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Two students at a Tallahassee elementary school face expulsion after allegedly plotting to harm one of their classmates.

The incident unraveled after class let out at Roberts Elementary School on Friday, December 14. According to the police report, two fifth grade students, ages 10 and 11, plotted to assault, possibly murder, an 11-year-old classmate.

School officials were first made aware of the incident when a child came forward and told a teacher that two students were planning to fight a third student and had brought weapons to the school.

The report also states that when news of the plot came to light, staff pulled the victim aside. The report says that's when the victim told a staff member that he believed the suspects intended to kill him. When asked how he knew that, the student said several other students had told him throughout the day.

The student also said he had been bullied over the last month by the students and one of them approached him and made a threat to kill him just a few days prior. On the day of the incident, the student said he was told to meet the other student after school in a 'secret hideout at the garden,' where he heard something was being planned.

The students in question were pulled aside before that meeting could happen.

During an ensuing investigation, officials obtained the backpack of one of the accused students. Inside the backpack, the school principal found several tools including a pair of pliers, a Leatherman pocket knife with a 3" blade, a pipe wrench, a pair of Kleins and white baseball-style gloves.

The report says both students were questioned and denied plotting to kill the victim. The student reportedly admitted to planning to beat the intended victim up due to rumors the victim was spreading, but said he did not know there was a knife attached to the toolkit and that the pliers were for cutting a lock on a gate.

Following the initial investigation, both students were suspended and recommended for expulsion, said Chris Petley, the public information officer for Leon County Schools. He said the school board would decide on the final outcome, but did not have a date for when that would happen.

Neither suspect was arrested, but after consultation with the State Attorney’s Office, they were issued juvenile civil citations for conspiracy to commit battery and bringing weapons on school grounds, said Tallahassee Police Officer Damon Miller.

WCTV learned about the incident last week when Roberts Elementary Principal Kim McFarland

. Leon County Schools also released a statement.