Two teens accused of plotting a deadly attack against their Cherokee County classmates and teachers pleaded guilty Friday to six counts of conspiracy to commit murder and other charges.
A sentencing hearing was underway late Friday for Alfred Dupree, 19, and Victoria McCurley, 18, in a Cherokee courtroom. The hearing continued Tuesday morning.
The pair, who attended Etowah High School, were arrested in October 2017, when they were both 17, after a tipster told police of the alleged threats. They have remained since their arrest in the Cherokee jail. In December 2017, both were indicted on numerous felony counts.
“We prevented something from happening,” Cherokee Sheriff Frank Reynolds said after the arrests. “We saved potential lives.”
Dupree and McCurley had access to firearms, but Reynolds said they more likely planned to use a flammable device, similar to what is known as a Molotov cocktail, against school staff. Investigators found weapons and explosives in McCurley’s home and journals inside Dupree’s home with what prosecutors called a “kill list.”
Among those listed were special education students and their teacher, Rachelle Carnesale, an assistant district attorney, told the court Friday. The two had created a map of the high school building as a part of their plan, according to their indictment.
“By the beginning of their senior year, this was something both individuals were interested in carrying out,” Carnesale said.
Dupree had a fascination with school shootings, particularly the April 1999 Columbine High School shooting in Colorado, he claimed. He also has said he studied workplace shootings.
McCurley’s friends and family, who refer to her as “Gabi,” previously told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution she would never go so far as to hurt people at her high school.
Instead, McCurley was the victim of bullying and neglect. Her dark social media posts were cries for help and her plans to hurt others were a mask for her desire to hurt herself, according to Mandy Thomas, a family member.
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