SANTA FE — A state District Court judge ruled Tuesday that a teen who wrote up a plan for a mass shooting at Santa Fe High School is too dangerous to be in public and will be held in a youth detention center for now.
But charges against two other teens for allegedly conspiring in the plan were dropped by prosecutors Tuesday morning.
District Attorney Marco Serna issued a statement after Tuesday’s court hearing saying, “Thanks to the quick actions of Santa Fe Public Schools and first responders, we prevented what could have been a horrific tragedy.”
Santa Fe High students Aaron Encinias, Santiago Trujillo and Julian Carter were charged with conspiring to engage in terrorist activity last week after other students found a letter with a diagram that detailed plans for a mass shooting at the high school that included racist and homophobic comments.
A second school “shooting plan” was found last week on a south Santa Fe parking lot, but police haven’t said whether the two are connected.
Encinias has admitted writing the shooting plan found at the school campus, while Carter and Trujillo said they had viewed it. The charges against Carter and Trujillo were dropped Monday “without prejudice,” meaning they can be refiled.
The three students said the shooting plan was a joke, according to police reports.
Carter’s stepfather said last week that Carter’s only transgression was not telling an adult about Encinias’ shooting letter when it was shown to him.
Deputy District Attorney Jason Lidyard said in court Tuesday that Encinias had created a scheme to carry out a mass shooting on campus that included a layout of the school and a target list that had names of teachers and students.
Lidyard argued that Encinias, who was emotional and shed tears during the hearing, was a danger to others and himself because Encinias had planned to commit suicide after the shooting.
Lidyard added that putting Encinias on electronic monitoring outside of detention wouldn’t be enough because he’s raised by a single father who works full time and wouldn’t be able to keep an eye on him.
Lidyard also wanted Encinias to undergo a mental health evaluation to “see what we’re dealing with here.”
Encinias’ attorney, Mark Dixon, said Encinias wasn’t a danger to the community and added that this was his first time in a courtroom.
Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer told Encinias that she believes he poses a risk to others and ruled that he be held in custody until trial. Encinias has the right to have a detention hearing to modify his conditions of release.
District Attorney Serna, in his statement Tuesday afternoon, said, “The safety of our students, educators and parents is our top priority, and that’s why we successfully petitioned the court to detain the individual accused of writing the shooting plan.”
“While this investigation remains ongoing, I want our families to know they are safe at our schools and in our community, and that we are working closely with Santa Fe Public Schools and Santa Fe Police regarding this matter”
Encinias’ father didn’t want to comment after the hearing.