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The 15-year-old Sweet Home High School sophomore accused of plotting a Columbine-style attack at the Amherst school pleaded guilty Monday to a charge in Erie County Family Court.

During a hearing before Judge James H. Dillon, the boy, a Town of Tonawanda resident and special-education student, admitted possessing bombmaking materials and instructional items that were seized from his home March 23. The equivalent charge in a criminal court would be possession of a dangerous instrument.

Dillon ordered the boy to undergo a psychiatric assessment before sentencing April 25.

The judge, who ordered the boy to remain in a county youth-detention facility, said the boy faces an initial detention of up to 12 months in a secure youth facility.

The judge also said he could be granted an unconditional discharge, dismissal of charges or be ordered to remain in detention until he is 18.

Authorities said the boy told friends that he planned to bomb the school on Sweet Home Road after the Christmas break of his senior year and promised that he would give his friends three minutes' advance notice.

A police search of the boy's home last month led to the seizure of bombmaking materials, including piping bound with duct tape, ball bearings and fuse material.

Also seized from the boy's home were bombmaking manuals and copies of autopsy reports and other material on Eric D. Harris, 18, and Dylan B. Klebold, 17, who on April 20, 1999, killed 12 classmates and a teacher at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., before they committed suicide.

The boy also wrote an essay earlier in the school year suggesting that the Columbine killers were simply rebelling against an oppressive atmosphere.

The boy also had been under scrutiny by school officials since November because of disciplinary incidents earlier in this school year.


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