Students plead to lesser charges

2 Craig teens work out plea deal in alleged bomb plot

Ryan Sheridan

— Two students accused of plotting to bomb the Moffat County High School and Moffat County Courthouse pleaded guilty to lesser charges Tuesday.

In Moffat County District Court, Stephen Jackman, 17, and Tommy Elam, 14, both pleaded guilty to unlawful conduct on public property, a class three misdemeanor.

Tony Jacob, 16, had his preliminary hearing continued until Feb. 12.

The charges of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and terrorist training activities were also dropped against Jacob, but with prejudice a designation that allows the District Attorney’s Office to refile the charges at a later date.

Jacob is now charged with unlawful conduct on public property and felony stalking. He was scheduled for a risk assessment Friday afternoon.

In exchange for the guilty pleas, the District Attorney’s Office dropped felony charges of conspiracy to commit first degree murder and terrorist training activities against both defendants.

According to a statement released by the the District Attorney’s Office Wednesday morning, the plea agreements were offered because “after further investigation by the Craig Police, it was discovered that the police had interrupted the plan before it could blossom into a viable threat. Tom Elam and Stephen Jackman were found to have had minimal involvement in the plan.”

Jackman received a deferred judgment and sentence, which states the charges will be dropped after one year if he complies or satisfies the conditions of the agreement.

If he does not comply with the agreement, the charges will be refiled, along with Jackman’s guilty plea.

He was also placed in supervised probation for one year.

Jackman was ordered by Judge Joel Thompson to report to a licensed psychologist for an evaluation. The focus of the evaluation will be on Jackman’s potential for violence.

“All right, Stephen, behave yourself,” Thompson said. “You’re free to go.”

Elam’s plea agreement also included a second case, separate from the bomb plan allegations.

As part of the plea agreement, Elam also pleaded guilty to criminal mischief. A charge of harassment was dropped in exchange for his guilty plea.

Thompson informed Elam that by entering the guilty plea for the agreement, he was also admitting to violating his probation in connection with a 2000 conviction.

These violations will label Elam as a mandatory sentence offender, which will invoke sentencing requirements for the plea agreement.

Thompson scheduled Elam’s sentencing hearing for Feb. 25.

Elam faces up to one year in a community corrections center, 45 days in a juvenile detention facility, a fine of up to $300, community service, restitution and court costs, and/or placement outside of his home by Social Services.

Both Jacob and Elam were returned to the Grand Mesa Youth Services Center in Grand Junction. Jacob and Elam have been in custody of the juvenile facility since they were arrested Dec. 21 by Craig Police.

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