Preliminary hearing set for Bartlesville teen charged with planning school attack
BY LAURA SUMMERS World Staff Writer
Friday, January 11, 2013
1/11/13 at 3:11 PM
Related story: Bartlesville schools focus on safety issues
BARTLESVILLE – A February preliminary hearing date was set Friday for an 18-year-old Bartlesville High School senior charged with plotting a mass school shooting.
Associate District Court Judge Russell Vaclaw set Feb. 21 as the hearing date for Sammie Eaglebear Chavez who was charged Dec. 13 with planning, attempting or conspiring to perform an act of violence with the intention of causing serious bodily harm or death to other students.
Chavez appeared before the judge via video monitor from Washington County Detention Center where he is being held with a $1 million bond.
Dressed in an inmate uniform with his hair now closely cropped, Chavez did not speak during the appearance except at the close when he said, “Thank you.”
Bartlesville attorney Jim Conatser, who was appointed by the court to represent Chavez, declined media interviews, saying he just met his client yesterday and needs to focus on preparing for the preliminary hearing.
Assistant District Attorney Will Drake estimated that the preliminary hearing with Special Judge John Gerkin will take two or three days.
Chavez was arrested by Bartlesville police at 4:50 a.m. Dec. 14, the same day that a gunman killed 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
According to a court affidavit, Chavez tried to recruit other students to assist him in carrying out a plan to lure students into the high school auditorium where he planned to begin shooting them after chaining the doors shut.
Chavez, who threatened to kill students who didn’t cooperate with him, planned to place bombs by the auditorium doors to detonate when police arrived, the affidavit stated.
In a search of Chavez’s home, police seized a .22-caliber semi-automatic rifle with the stock cut off, handwritten notes, drawings, journals and photos of classmates cut out of the newspaper.
Sammie Eaglebear Chavez