Hearing For Teen Accused In Murder Plot At High School

DENVER (CBS4) – One of the teens accused of plotting a murderous attack on a high school in Highlands Ranch had a court hearing on Wednesday.

This comes just days after the Colorado Supreme Court has made an important ruling in the case of two teenage girls accused of threatening Mountain Vista High School.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Sienna Johnson and Brooke Higgins were both 16 years old when they were arrested for an alleged murder plot at their Highlands Ranch school.

Higgins was not in court on Wednesday but the judge set a date to determine when a new bond discussion will occur along with a reverse transfer hearing.

Prosecutors have charged those teenagers as adults and the defense attorneys have asked for a reverse transfer — they argue the teens should be tried as juveniles where the punishment is far less severe.

Sienna Johnson and Brooke Higgins (credit: CBS)

Sienna Johnson and Brooke Higgins (credit: CBS)

The dispute has prompted a battle over mental health records, and that was what the state’s high court ruled on on Monday.

In the reverse transfer process that was requested in the case, a judge ordered the teens should produce mental health records after prosecutors asked for them.

The Colorado Supreme Court on Monday ruled Johnson does not have to produce mental health records or even do a mental health assessment to get her case transferred back to juvenile court.

Brooke Higgins (credit: Mountain Vista High School yearbook photo)

Brooke Higgins (credit: Mountain Vista High School yearbook photo)

The ruling is only effective in Johnson’s case, and it states a court cannot order those privileged records, nor an assessment. It states the reverse transfer only requires the court consider mental health records be “made available.”

The date for Higgins’ reverse transfer hearing has not been set but is believed to happen at her Oct. 19 hearing. Her attorneys claim that her crime is a “thought crime” at best.


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