Berkley teens accused of plotting assault at middle school

Prosecutor says teens had hit list, detailed plans of assault at Anderson Middle School

BERKLEY, Mich. – Two girls are charged with plotting a Columbine-style assault on Anderson Middle School in Berkley.

The teens appeared for the first time before a judge on Monday. They will remain in juvenile detention until this weekend when they will have the chance to post bond. The judge is deeply concerned about public safety and granted the bond request with a lot of strings attached.

The girls, 13 and 14 years old, were wearing leg and wrist irons inside Oakland County Circuit Court. They are charged with threatening terrorism. When they arrived in court, one asked her attorney to put up her hair and the other waved to family members.

Prosecutor Betsey Hage broke the relaxed mood when she told Judge Cheryl Matthews that the girls carefully planned a frighteningly violent assault on Anderson Middle School.

"There were plans, detailed plans. Back-up plans. Diagrams. Hit lists, all kinds of things which give great pause to allowing a person back into the community," said Hage.

Matthews was leery of allowing the girls out of the children's center, where they have been since May 23.

"There is a list of people that she intended to execute," said the judge.

Still, defense attorneys wanted their clients released on bond.

"I'm saying that if the court were to allow her to no longer be detained that she could live outside the city of Berkley. She wouldn't be a threat to any individuals,," said attorney J. Patrick Ogurek.

That could happen as soon as Saturday.

Meanwhile, at Anderson Middle School the children left Monday with some parents expressing concern about the incident.

"Gosh, it's kind of strange to think it could happen here. These things just don't happen in Berkley. I am glad they were able to deal with it quickly," said Liz Jerome, a parent at the school.

The girls were granted $10,000 cash surety bonds. They will have to wear GPS tethers under house arrest if their families can make the bond.

A preliminary hearing where evidence should be presented is scheduled for July 13.

About the Author:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.