Everett teen accused of planning mass shooting pleads not guilty
EVERETT, Wash. - Everett teen Joshua O’Connor pleaded not guilty Monday to three felony charges in Snohomish County Superior Court.
The 18-year-old was arrested February 13, the day before the Parkland shooting, after his grandmother found a journal outlining a detailed plot of a mass shooting at Aces High School.
O’Connor heard the charges, officially filed on Friday, of attempted first degree murder with a firearm, first degree robbery with firearm allegation, and possession of a bomb or explosive device with intent to use for an unlawful purpose.
“I’m sure the judge, if this case does reach a conviction, will be guided by the evidence, but also this crime’s place in the larger concerns we have as a community and as a country,” said Andrew Alsdorf, Snohomish County Deputy Prosecutor.
O’Connor’s public defender, Rachel Forde, asked the judge to have O’Connor’s handcuffs removed and to wear street clothes during the arraignment.
Forde argued the local and national exposure could impede O’Connor’s right to a fair trial.
Judge Ellen J. Fair, citing a lack of proper notice, refused the request.
According to probable cause documents, O’Connor planned and had begun preparing for a shooting set for April 19 at Aces High School, the alternative high school he attended.
Prosecutors say O’Connor had bought a rifle, created an explosive device, and held-up a local gas station to help fund the mass shooting.
A $5-million bail was set in court on Monday.
His next court date is April 5.