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Teen-agers Convicted in Plot to Kill Teacher

April 3, 1993

ELYRIA, Ohio (AP) _ Two junior high school girls were convicted Friday of plotting to kill their English teacher, an act one of the students had testified was only a joke.

The girls, ages 12 and 13, were arrested at Irving Middle School on Jan. 20. Police said the plot to kill teacher Janet Kirk began Jan. 19 when Kirk, 46, scolded the 13-year-old for not paying attention in class.

The 13-year-old was accused of planning to stab Kirk while her 12-year-old friend held the teacher. Officials said as many as 15 other students were betting on whether the two would do it.

The girls were convicted in Lorain County Domestic Relations Court of delinquency for conspiring to commit aggravated murder. They could be sentenced to to a juvenile jail until they are 21.

Judge Joseph Zieba said he would sentece the two in about a month. He opened their trial to reporters this week, but asked that their names be withheld. The two remain in custody pending sentencing.

The 13-year-old testified Friday that she never intended to kill Kirk, that the threat was only a joke and that she went along with it because of peer pressure.

″I thought everyone was just playing,″ she said.

Her attorney, Kenneth Lieux, called the plot ″mere puffery amongst youngsters.″

School officials found a kitchen knife in the 13-year-old’s book bag.

Police presented a tape made after the girls were in custody in which the 12-year-old told how her friend complained about her English teacher and said she was so angry she was going to kill her.

The 13-year-old could be heard telling officers, ″Maybe I wasn’t going to do it.″ But she said her resolve hardened when ″everybody started making bets.″

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