BROCKTON -- A juvenile court judge dismissed one of three charges yesterday against a teenager accused of plotting to kill other students and school officials at his high school.
The judge threw out a charge of promotion of anarchy against Tobin Kerns, 18, who still faces charges of threats to use deadly weapons at school and conspiracy to commit murder. The defense asked that all charges be dismissed.
Kerns is one of two people charged with plotting shootings at Marshfield High School two years ago. He is being tried in juvenile court as an adult, which means the proceedings are open. The other person charged, Joseph Nee, 20, is being tried separately.
Judge Louis Coffin said he dismissed the anarchy charge because it does not appear that the defendant was recruiting others to overthrow the government.
Bridget Norton Middleton, a spokeswoman for the Plymouth district attorney's office, said the decision cannot be appealed. ``We strongly disagree with the judge's ruling, and we think that he misapplied the law," she said. ``From our reading, there is no requirement that there be a threat against the government."
Coffin denied a request by the prosecution that the decision be stayed so it could be brought before the Supreme Judicial Court.
Kerns was 16 when he was arrested in 2004 after authorities alleged that they uncovered a hit list of students, school officials, and police officers. A search of Kerns's home turned up maps of the high school, computer files on bomb-building, and a shopping list of weapons , authorities said.