UK & World News
Colville Schoolboys 'Plotted Rape And Murder'
A US judge has ruled that two boys, aged 10 and 11, will stand trial on charges of planning to rape and murder a classmate.
The schoolboys had a handwritten plan listing seven steps leading up to the killing of a female classmate, according to Stevens County Prosecutor Tim Rasmussen.
That list was submitted as evidence at their mental capacity hearing on Friday.
The judge decided that the pair understood the nature and consequences of their actions and would stand trial in juvenile court.
Under Washington state law, children aged eight to 12 are typically presumed not to have the mental capacity to form an intention to commit a crime. Juvenile court is usually reserved for defendants between ages 12 and 18.
According to court documents, one of the boys wanted the girl dead because "she's rude and always made fun of me and my friends," the documents said.
The boys are said to have boarded a school bus on February 7 with a knife, a semi-automatic pistol and ammunition in a backpack on their way to Fort Colville Elementary School.
The younger boy is believed to have taken the gun, originally belonging to his grandfather, from his older brother's room.
They were arrested after another child saw one of the boys playing with the knife on the bus and told a school employee.
One of the suspects later said he would kill the student who told school officials about the weapons, prosecutors said.
The boys are also alleged to have targeted other children in Colville, a town about 215 miles (345 km) east of Seattle in Washington state.
They have pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit murder, witness tampering and juvenile possession of a firearm.
Mr Rasmussen said: "There are very few prosecutions of a crime of this magnitude with boys of this age."
Both a defence psychiatrist and a state psychologist have said they present a danger to the community.
The boys have been expelled from the school district indefinitely. A status hearing is set for April 8.