Court: Teen accused in school shooting plot deserves bail

28
Court: Teen accused in school shooting plot deserves bail
FILE - This file photo released Feb. 15, 2018, by the Vermont State Police shows Jack Sawyer from Poultney, Vt., accused of planning "to shoot up" his former high school. Sawyer, a teenager charged with planning a shooting at his former high school, never carried out the crime and should be granted bail, his lawyer argued before a state Supreme Court panel on Tuesday, April 3. (Vermont State Police via AP, File)

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The Vermont Supreme Court has ruled that a teenager accused of planning a shooting at his former high school should not be kept in jail pending his trial.

The state’s top court ruled on Wednesday that there’s not enough evidence to show 18-year-old Jack Sawyer, of Poultney, attempted a crime, only that he prepared to commit one.

The decision reverses a lower-court order that Sawyer be held without bail.

An attorney for Sawyer had argued that while the teen made preparations for a shooting at Fair Haven Union High School he didn’t take any concrete steps that under state law would justify charges including attempted aggravated murder, which allows a judge to reject bail.

Court documents say Sawyer had planned to carry out the attack last month. Sawyer has pleaded not guilty.