AFRICANGLOBE – A self-described ‘white supremacist’ Alabama teen who police accuse of plotting to kill his gay and Black classmates with bombs is expected to plead not guilty today (9 January).
Derek Shrout, 17, was arrested on 4 January after a teacher found his journal and contacted the authorities.
Police state the journal contained plans to kill one teacher and five students, who are African American, and another White male student, who Shrout believed to be gay,according to reports.
Sheriff Heath Taylor said: ‘That’s the reason the White male was on the list. It screams hate crime.’
Investigators say Shrout started planning the attack days after a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
‘The journal contained several plans that looked like potential terrorist attacks and attacks of violence and danger on the school,’ Taylor said.
Shrout told police the journal was a work of fiction, and said he rarely interacted with the people he is accused of targeting.
However a search of Shrout’s home turned up dozens of empty tobacco containers with shrapnel.
Sheriff Heath Taylor, who is charge of the investigation, said the devices were ‘just one step or two away from being ready to explode.’
Shrout’s lawyer James Armstrong appeared in front of reporters to contest the charges, saying: ‘He had no intentions [of carrying out an attack].
‘I think this might have been blown a little bit out of proportion in light of what happened in Newtown, Connecticut. Of course, everyone is on edge about that kind of thing.’
The 17-year-old white supremacist will be trialled as an adult and charged with attempted assault.