Judge dismisses attempted murder charges against Waseca teen

John LaDue makes court appearance.
Waseca Co. Sheriff deputies escort 17-year-old John LaDue into court on May 12, 2014.
Elizabeth Baier/MPR News

The most serious charges against John LaDue, the Waseca teen accused of planning to kill his family and bomb his school, have been dismissed.

Judge Gerald J. Wolf signed an order Monday in Waseca County District Court dismissing four attempted murder counts and two counts of attempted criminal damage to property, citing a lack of probable cause.

• 6/25: Court documents: Teen 'wanted as many victims as possible'
• 5/12: Teen in alleged Waseca plot pleads not guilty
• 5/3: Town seeks assurance of safety after foiled killing spree

Wolf granted a motion from LaDue's attorney's for the dismissal of the counts, according to the court order.

Police officers found LaDue at a storage locker on April 29 after a nearby resident reported suspicious activity. In searches of his house, and the storage locker, police said they found a gun, explosives, bomb-making supplies and a journal in which he outlined his plans for the attacks.

In his order, Wolf wrote that the state failed to show LaDue made a "substantial step, beyond mere preparation" toward the commission of first degree murder.

The judge denied LaDue's attorney's request to drop six counts of possessing explosive or incendiary devices.

"We're very pleased and we believe the judge made the legally correct decision even if it may be an unpopular one with the community," said LaDue's attorney Dawn Johnson.

LaDue's attorney Dawn Johnson says his family is hoping he can return and live with them. "His parents would love to have him come back home, but they're concerned about the community's response to him returning home. And our focus now is that he received the psychological help that everyone is now aware that he needs."

Prosecutors for the case could not be immediately reached for comment.

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