BENTON CITY A Kiona-Benton High School student is facing criminal charges after allegedly orchestrating a conspiracy to kill a new student Nov. 15.
The name of the teenager, and two alleged accomplices, have yet to be released.
All three are 16 years old.
According to Benton County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Bob Brockman, the three involved in the murder plot were arrested, but only one was booked into jail for conspiracy to commit second-degree assault.
“He possessed the knife, and he appeared to be the (leader),” Brockman said.
The other two — a boy and girl — were arrested and remanded to the custody of their parents.
Those two have yet to be charged, he said.
“Charges can be brought or amended as the case makes its way through the legal process,” Brockman said. “We’ll send all our reports to the prosecutors and see where the case goes from there.”
According to Brockman, the three students had planned their actions well before the incident.
“There was a group of kids at the high school,” Brockman said. “There was a new kid in school. It looks like he disrupted the group.”
Apparently, the group or members of the group decided to stab the new student to death, Brockman said.
The attack was planned for Nov. 15 near Ki-Be Market, at 1215 Horne Drive across the street from the high school.
“Their plan was to attack him behind the market,” Brockman said.
The intended victim was lured there at around noon that day, Brockman said.
But the plot was thwarted by other students Brockman said he believes weren’t in on the murder plot.
“There were some witnesses and a disturbance at the market,” Brockman said.
There was a call for a suspicious person wearing a red mask or red bandana and a long or trench coat, he added.
The other students, apparently not aware of the plot, chased the suspicious person away, Brockman said.
During the ensuing investigation, Brockman said detectives learned of the plot and the suspicious person in the red mask was identified as the teen with the knife and the one who planned the stabbing.
Brockman said the group was not a gang.
None of the three were known to law enforcement, nor did they have any criminal records, Brockman said.
“I don’t know if they realized the gravity of what they were doing,” Brockman said, adding that if the intended victim had been killed or harmed, they could have been facing even more serious charges and lengthy jail sentences if they were tried as adults.