A teenager who assembled an arsenal of knives, guns and grenades and asked a friend to join him in a Columbine-style attack will remain in a juvenile facility but can move to a less restrictive unit, a judge said.
The judge on Thursday praised 15-year-old Dillon Cossey for losing 73 pounds and doing well in his studies during 11 months of treatment at the George Junior Republic facility for at-risk youths. He weighed 305 pounds a year ago.
Dillon told Montgomery County Judge Paul Tressler he enjoys athletics and having friends his own age. Tressler said his grades showed he has "a good brain."
"You've done well," Tressler said. "I see you going home — you've earned it."
Mom awaits sentencing
Still, Tressler did not grant a request for a home visit now, saying he isn't ready to trust Dillon with his mother, Michele Cossey. She helped him build his arsenal and is awaiting sentencing for child endangerment.
"His major problem is sitting right over there — that lady in blue," Tressler said. "You have destroyed this kid." A report from the juvenile facility indicated the mother still brought food to him there, Tressler said.
She acknowledged spoiling her son and told the court she was grateful for a chance to make amends.
Cossey, bullied over his weight, had left public school in seventh grade and was being home-schooled. Over time, violent Internet sites fueled his revenge fantasies, his lawyer has said.
Police learned of the potential attack when Cossey invited a friend to join him. The friend went to police in October 2007. Authorities did not think the school attack was imminent, but the boy did amass knives, swords, BB guns, the rifle and partly assembled homemade grenades in his bedroom.