Todd Warren Singleton of Mandeville, along with two other boys, is accused of plotting a shooting spree at Lakeshore High School. Singleton’s trial was set for last Tuesday, but his attorney was granted a continuance by the judge presiding in the case.
The ruling comes from the fact that the invite-only Facebook page where the boys reportedly planned the shooting spree, which was later deleted by Singleton’s mother, was recovered by the social networking site and arrived at the District Attorney’s office the day before the trial was set to begin.
The boys were arrested just days before they allegedly planned to steal guns from a friend’s gun safe, take them to Lakeshore High School and shoot a student, a teacher, and anyone who tried to stop them, culminating with their suicides. Another student who learned of their plan told the school principal, who contacted the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office. The boys were charged with conspiracy to commit terrorism and solicitation for murder.
Deputies only found two BB guns. The state’s case hinges on statements the boys gave to police, an exchange of online messages, and the Facebook page. However, the mother of Singleton deleted the Facebook page and destroyed her son’s computer. She has not been charged.
Be sure to heed caution when using technology as a communication tool, such as social media, text messaging, and email. This form of communication is referred to as an admission when made by a defendant and would be admissible in a trial under the Louisiana Code of Evidence.
Times Picayune, November 22, 2011. “Trial for Lakeshore High shooting plot suspect postponed”