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Teens Charged With Violent Plots

September 21, 1999

PORT HURON, Mich. (AP) _ Three teen-agers charged with plotting a massacre at their middle school were freed from custody Tuesday under a rule restricting their pretrial confinement.

St. Clair County Judge James P. Adair ordered the boys released. Prosecutor Elwood Dowd said a state court rule bars juveniles awaiting trial as adults from being held for more than 91 days.

The boys are charged with conspiracy to commit murder, punishable by life in prison. Justin Schnepp, 14, and Jedaiah Zinzo, 15, are charged as adults, while 13-year-old Daniel Fick is charged as a juvenile.

The boys, who had been held for 133 days, will await their Nov. 16 trial date under 24-hour parental supervision, the Times Herald reported.

Harry Schnepp said he was relieved his son could come home.

``I’m happy. He’ll be under my guard. I think he wants an ice cream cone, pizza and a pop,″ he said.

The boys are accused of masterminding a plot to kill students and teachers at Holland Woods Middle School.

They were arrested in mid-May after classmates told administrators they overheard conversations about committing a massacre bigger than the April killing spree at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., in which 15 people died.

The boys have been expelled from the Port Huron Area School District and are prohibited from going back to school or attending any school functions.

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