Image: Alex Youshock
Paul Sakuma  /  AP
Alex Youshock, 17, is behind a bullet proof glass for his arraignment in a Redwood City, Calif., courtroom on Wednesday. He is accused of detonating two pipe bombs at a Northern California high school on Monday, while armed with a chain saw, sword and explosives.
updated 8/26/2009 1:09:19 PM ET 2009-08-26T17:09:19

A 17-year-old boy accused of detonating two pipe bombs at a Northern California high school while armed with a chain saw, sword and explosives appeared in court Wednesday on charges of trying to murder two faculty members.

Alex Youshock, a former student at Hillsdale High School in San Mateo, did not enter a plea to charges that included exploding or attempting to explode bombs in a school to terrorize others and possession of dangerous weapons — the sword and chain saw.

No one was injured in the attack, which quickly ended when faculty members wrestled the attacker to the ground. Prosecutors said they would try Youshock as an adult for Monday's attack.

"He planned this elaborately," said Deputy District Attorney Karen Guidotti, adding that Youshock could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted of the attempted murder charges.

The prosecutor declined to discuss why Youshock allegedly wanted to kill security aide Jana Torres and chemistry teacher Meghan Spalding.

"We believe he had intent to harm them," Guidotti said. "We believe they were intended targets."

'Cold-blooded plot of execution'
Police Chief Susan Manheimer has said investigators believe Youshock planned to carry out a "cold-blooded plot of execution" on students and teachers because he was angry with the school administration.

Principal Jeff Gilbert said Youshock hadn't been a student at the school for more than a year.

Guidotti said Youshock was being prosecuted as an adult because of the serious nature of the alleged crimes and because he was about eight months from his 18th birthday.

Youshock appeared in a packed courtroom with his parents and sister in the front row. He stood behind a thick glass partition wearing a lime-green T-shirt with his right arm heavy bandaged.

Guidotti believed he was injured when he was wrestled down by faculty members at the school.

San Mateo Superior Court Judge Mark Forcum granted the prosecutor's request that Youshock be held in Juvenile Hall without bail until his next court date on Sept. 3.

'Coming together'
Meanwhile, classes resumed at the school for the first time since Monday's incident.

Students and staff members participated an assembly where those who took down the attacker received a standing ovation.

The morning was spent discussing the incident, with classes resuming in the afternoon. Counselors also talked to individual students.

"They're trying to get back to normal," said Kirk Black, associate superintendent for the San Mateo Union High School District. "I think everybody is really coming together. They're relieved that no one was hurt and that school is back in session."

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments