A judge is to deliver her verdict on July 23 in Yellowknife after a trial was held Friday for a 13-year-old boy charged with uttering death threats against two of his classmates.
His name is protected by the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
Despite the school being identified in an RCMP news release after he was charged, CKLB has chosen not to name it to help protect the suspect’s identity.
The boy was charged in March of this year after he told a school counsellor he had researched school shootings on the Internet and had considered shooting two boys in his class.
He also said he had no resources – no access to a firearm.
The boy told the guidance counsellor that six male classmates were annoying him but he only mentioned two of them in the conversation about school shootings.
He said they were disruptive in class, bothered the teacher and threw pencils on his desk.
Court heard that the boy made the comments to one counsellor, who called in another counsellor and eventually the principal became involved.
His mother was called in to the school to meet with officials who expressed their concerns, and after the meeting the boy was sent back to class.
School officials notified RCMP and two officers went to the boy’s house the next day, detained him under the mental health act, and took him to the emergency ward at Stanton Territorial Hospital.
An RCMP officer testified that the boy was arrested some days later because he felt there were sufficient grounds under the Criminal Code to charge him with uttering a death threat.
The officer admitted that he took the boy’s laptop and his iPad without a warrant when he first visited his home, days before the boy was arrested and charged.
He said he did so because it was part of the investigation but added he never looked at what was on either computer.
The boy’s lawyer Peter Harte said officials overreacted and there is “no such thing as the thought police in Canada.”
He said that the boy was merely honestly answering the counsellor’s questions and admitted at that time he had no access to a gun.
Harte said there is no point in the boy having counselling sessions if he is just going to lie.
The school officials agreed with Harte that you can only help a student if he tells the truth.
The boy has not been allowed back to school since he was charged.
He said outside court that he’s been doing his best to keep up with his classwork.
The boy was overjoyed to get his electronic devices back after the trial.
On Monday, both sides will be back in court to discuss the boy’s house arrest conditions.
Harte is expected to argue they should be relaxed.
Judge Christine Gagnon will preside over that and will give her verdict in the unusual case next month.