09-09-2007, 09:40 AM #1
FL - 3 Plotted School Attack On Net, Police Say
TAMPA - The three teens charged Thursday with threatening to burn Freedom High School with a gas explosion came up with the plot while instant-messaging one another through the social-networking site MySpace, according to Tampa police.
Sworn statements from the teens, which police released Friday, revealed an angst-ridden Internet chat describing unappreciative girlfriends, family problems and struggles with depression that evolved into talk 'about blowing up the school.'
Mark Stapleton, 16, told police in a sworn statement that his girlfriend was breaking up with him and that he was 'angry and crying' and 'did not care about living.' Stapleton's friend, John Doan, 17, agreed with him and said he, too, wanted to die because he 'never seemed to make his mother happy' and he was unhappy with his life.
Police charged Stapleton, Doan and a 15-year-old boy with making a threat of discharging a destructive device on school property. The Tampa Tribune is not naming the 15-year-old because of his age.
They also are charged with disrupting a school function, police spokeswoman Andrea Davis said.
The teens will spend the next three weeks in juvenile detention. At a hearing Friday, a judge denied their request to be placed on house arrest and ordered them held in custody until a hearing Sept. 26.
Michael Pieri, the attorney for Stapleton, told the judge the teens were only venting their frustrations.
'Essentially, this boils down to three boys on a MySpace account talking trash to each other,' Pieri said.
The teenagers are suspended from the school at 17410 Commerce Park Blvd. for 10 days. Principal Richard Bartels has recommended they be expelled.
Stapleton told detectives near the conclusion
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