CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (CBS4) – The teen who admitted to making threats made against Mountain Vista High School was sentenced on Wednesday afternoon.
Brooke Higgins pleaded guilty last month to her role in the plot, including charges of conspiracy to commit murder and solicitation to commit murder, both felonies. She has been in custody since her arrest.
In the plea agreement, Higgins, now 17, will be sentenced to three years in the juvenile detention system followed by four years of supervision. She will get credit for the time she has served so far.
Higgins’ attorneys painted the picture that she was a depressed and suicidal teenager who had been sexually assaulted and never intended to carry out her plan. Higgins’ father and others took the stand saying she’s been punished enough.
He openly criticized the plea agreement that he believes his daughter was forced into.
“I’m devastatated that Brooke was forced into an Alford plea. Mostly I’m disappointed that he didn’t use that power for good to help a girl who needed help but instead chose to punish her,” said Brooke’s father Tom Higgins.
Judge Paul King saw it a little differently, “It is a serious matter when someone puts down in writing that they want to die, that they want to kill others.”
18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler said, “At the end of the day, she will be in a position to close the book on this case and put it behind her and continue to progress forward as an adult.”
Higgins spoke to the judge and tearfully apologized for her actions.
“It doesn’t seem like anything I could have thought, or written or done … but I did, and I’m sorry for anybody’s life that was negatively impacted by this. I am so sorry,” Higgins said.
“It sounded like she was a victim. I don’t see it that way. I don’t think the planet Earth sees it that way,” Brauchler said. “I was heartened by her statements, though. I thought she was appropriately emotional. I thought she took the responsibility that you would expect someone to take that would turn the corner and never engage in this behavior again.”
A hearing for Sienna Johnson, the other teen accused in the plot, has been rescheduled to later this month.
Last month, a judge unsealed documents that detailed the pact between the girls to carry out the shooting in Highlands Ranch.
According to the arrest affidavit, the two teen girls were planning a shooting at their high school on Dec. 17, 2015 with one of the girls planning to kill her mother and sister prior to the shooting at the school.
The girls were then planning to commit suicide after the shooting at the high school.
According to the affidavit, Higgins wrote in her journal that she wished she had taken part in the Columbine shooting.