Attorneys for Jared Cano, teen accused of plotting "Columbine" attack on Freedom High School, will enter no plea contest

12:06 PM, Sep 5, 2012   |    comments
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Jared Cano appears in court Sept. 4, 2012.


 PDF Document: Cano motion to dismiss

Tampa, Florida -- Attorneys representing the student accused of plotting bomb attack on Freedom High School say they will enter a plea of no contest.

Jared Cano, 17, was arrested in August 2011 after he approached another high school student about his plans to blow up Freedom High School on the first day of classes.  Cano had been recently expelled from the school and was reportedly looking for the student to help him carry out his plan.

Photo Gallery: Pictures of Jared Cano

The student became an informant for police, helping them gather enough information in order to arrest Cano and conduct a search of his North Tampa apartment.

A search of Cano's home uncovered a journal that detailed specific plans to bomb the school along with what appeared to be bomb-making materials. An investigation revealed Cano's cell phone also contained videos of him discussing his plan and trying to recruit a fellow student to help him carry out his plan. Numerous Internet searches for school shootings, bombings and bomb-making materials were also found on his computer.

Cano's attorney tried to argue that Cano's explosives were incomplete at the time of his arrest and would not have harmed anyone. But the judge sided with the State's argument that it doesn't matter under the law whether his bomb would have succeeded.

The Assistant State Attorney argued Cano told the informant about his plans and he had a working timer--which was observed in one of his cell phone videos--and he had compiled recipes for making explosives, collected ingredients and was in the process of constructing them.

Canella also argued that to be convicted of the threat charge, Cano had to tell an intended victim about his plan and not just the student who became an informant. But the judge ruled that there was no such requirement.

PDF: Order denying Cano's motion to dismiss

Cano's attorneys say he will plead no contest to charges of Threatening to Discharge a Destructive Device and Attempting to Make, Posses, Throw, Place, Project or Discharge a Destructive Device with Intent to Harm. 

He will plead guilty to marijuana charges stemming from his arrest. A court hearing for those charges is set for Oct. 16.

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