Georgia declines to take Minn. teen in school plot case

Published 10:12 am Monday, December 21, 2015

WASECA — Court officials are trying to find another facility to take a Minnesota teen who authorities said was planning a school attack.

A secure Georgia facility for autism spectrum patients was set to take 18-year-old John LaDue of Waseca. But defense attorney Jeff Johnson said Friday because of “technical, bureaucratic issues,” the state of Georgia declined to accept supervision of LaDue.

Johnson said the court is trying to find another facility to take LaDue. The next hearing is Jan. 6.

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LaDue was expected to move to Devereaux, a secure treatment facility just outside Atlanta.

According to its website, Deveraux provides “intensive residential treatment in a secure setting for youth ages 10 to 21 who are facing significant emotional, behavioral and intellectual/developmental challenges.” LaDue was slated to remain at Deveraux until he completed treatment, which could last until after his 21st birthday.

After he was released from that facility he would move to a less secure facility, likely a halfway house, before moving back into the community where he would be under intensive supervision.

In October, LaDue was sentenced to up to 10 years of probation after pleading guilty to possessing an explosive device.

LaDue was 17 when he was arrested in April 2014 after police found him in a storage unit with bomb-making materials. Authorities also seized firearms and ammunition from his home.

LaDue confessed to detonating small bombs at a church, school and park around town, and said he’d been planning a large-scale massacre at his school that involved killing his family and the school liaison officer. It ended, he said, with his death at the hands of law enforcement.

While LaDue was initially charged with attempted murder and attempted damage to property, a district court judge found there wasn’t enough evidence to try him on those charges, a decision affirmed by the state Court of Appeals.