Feedback
News

Evidence Against Teen Sealed in Minnesota School Attack Case

Evidence against a Minnesota teenager accused of plotting to bomb his high school, including his personal journal, will remain sealed, a judge ruled Wednesday.

John David LaDue, 17, appeared briefly in Waseca County District Court where he is charged with four counts of first-degree attempted murder and six counts of possession of explosives.

Sign up for breaking news alerts from NBC News

Prosecutors say that LaDue drew up detailed plans to kill his family and bomb Waseca Junior/Senior High School, about 75 miles south of Minneapolis, and that investigators discovered an arsenal of weapons and bomb materials in the storage locker where he was arrested April 29.

Image: John LaDue arrives at Waseca County Courthouse on June 18.
John David LaDue arrives Wednesday at the Waseca County, Minnesota, Courthouse. kare11.com

Defense lawyers have argued that material in police reports and in LaDue's journal, which investigators say laid out plans for the attack in remarkable detail, would prejudice potential jurors.

LaDue's father, David LaDue, passionately defended his son in an interview with NBC station KARE of Minneapolis after the probable cause hearing, saying the teen wouldn't have gone through with the plot, which he called a cry for help.

"All they know about him is the story he shared when they walked up on him in the storage locker, and that's all they know. And they fully believed that he was going to carry this out," the elder LaDue said.

"I think he would have continued to delay or find a reason. He didn't seem to behave like somebody who wanted to continue on with this."

David LaDue said he believed his son needed mental health care, not punishment, and that his detention pending trial could worsen the teen's condition.

"He's with a lot of convicted hard guys, and… I think it's a really strange experience for him," David LaDue said.

Judge Gerald Wolf scheduled a hearing for July 30 to determine whether LaDue would be tried as an adult or as a juvenile.