ELBERT COUNTY — A former District 20 student was back in an Elbert County court Monday to be arraigned for charges of allegedly planning attacks on three schools in Colorado Springs.
19-year-old William Whitworth who identifies as "Lilly" was charged in April with felony criminal attempt to commit murder in the first degree and misdemeanor interference with staff, faculty, or students of educational institutions, menacing, and criminal mischief.
In Monday's arraignment, Whitworth entered her guilty plea to another charge of 2nd-degree assault with a deadly weapon. Her sentencing is scheduled for January 19th at 9 a.m. Testimony from both the prosecution and the defense is expected to be heard.
According to the arrest affidavit, the Elbert County Sheriff's Office was called to a home in an unincorporated area after a family member in the home made claims that Whitworth had made multiple references to school shootings, and even allegedly threatened to shoot up a school.
Deputies spoke to the suspect at home about the concerns and reports of threats to campuses. According to a deputy, Whitworth nodded 'yes' when asked if Whitworth was planning to perform a school shooting.
Deputies noted that the suspect appeared to be intoxicated during their initial contact.
The deputy also asked what school the former D20 student had previously attended, to which Whitworth responded "Timberview Middle School." When asked if this was the school Whitworth was planning on attacking, the suspect nodded and gave "no specific reason" when asked why.
According to the deputy, Whitworth was about a third of the way from performing the school shooting and had been planning for a month or two. Whitworth told deputies that Timberview Middle School on Scarborough Dr in Colorado Springs was one of the "main targets," and the others were churches.
The deputy later asked how much knowledge Whitworth had about school shootings to which Whitworth replied "too much." The affidavit refers to a manifesto with an entire page referencing mass killings. The document allegedly includes drawings of classrooms and a detonator. According to the deputy, the suspect claimed to have found a YouTube video on creating a detonator.
According to the affidavit, deputies returned to collect evidence where they found more journals with details of a list of firearms and how to 3D print them, detailed lists of numerous named individuals to be killed and their intended casualty versus injury rate, information detailing the creation of improvised explosive devices, and the locations of Timberview Middle School, Prairie Hills Elementary School and Pine Creek High School.
There were no firearms or explosives in the suspect's possession or in the home at the time of the arrest.
“We often question how tragedies happen after it’s too late,” said District Attorney John Kellner. “In this case, a family member had the courage and strength to pick up the phone and call for help. I encourage everyone when it comes to school security, if you see something concerning to
report it right away. That call may save lives.”
Whitworth was booked into jail on a $75,000 bond. According to the 18th Judicial District Attorney's (DA's) Office, Whitworth told jail staff that if she were to bound out of jail, she would try to carry out the original mass shooting plan.
At this time, the DA's Office increased the bond amount to $750,000.
WATCH: BOND INCREASED FOR FORMER DISTRICT 20 STUDENT AFTER THREATS CONTINUE IN JAIL
“This case shows our commitment to taking threats seriously and being proactive in preventing a potential tragedy,” said Chief Deputy District Attorney Eva Wilson. “We commend the Elbert County Sheriff’s Office for their investigative work on this case. We’re glad no one was injured.”
According to the DA's Office Whitworth faces a maximum sentence of 16 years. Her sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 19.