Attorney Distances Teen Client in School Murder Plot Case From Sienna Johnson

A Facebook photo of Sienna Johnson. Additional images below.
A Facebook photo of Sienna Johnson. Additional images below.
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Last week, we shared journal entries, poetry and more from Sienna Johnson, the sixteen-year-old charged as an adult in an alleged murder plot at Mountain Vista High School.

Another sixteen-year-old girl has also been arrested in the case, but her name has not yet been made public — because representatives of the district attorney's office haven't decided whether she, too, should face adult prosecution.

The teen is scheduled for a hearing tomorrow, January 14, during which the decision about how to treat her going forward is expected to be made.

But in advance of this appearance, her attorney, Dagny Van Der Jagt, has released a statement distancing her client from Johnson in an apparent attempt to portray the latter as the driving force behind the scheme. which involved "detailed maps of the school showing student movement and....a schedule for the police officer assigned there" according to DA George Brauchler.

Mountain Vista High School.
Mountain Vista High School.

Van Der Jagt is a former deputy district attorney for the 18th Judicial District who's currently a candidate for the Colorado House of Representatives for District 37.

"I would like to clarify some facts for the public regarding the arrest of my client, a 16-year-old girl being held without charge pending a voluntary psychiatric evaluation in connection with an alleged threat against Mountain Vista High School," her statement begins.

"It is important for the public to understand that the case involving Sienna Johnson and the case involving my client are two separate cases involving two very different individuals and very different facts and circumstances," she continues. "The girls were casual school acquaintances who had associated with each other for a brief time. They have different backgrounds, personalities, motivations and behaviors. Ms. Johnson has been charged as an adult based on the facts of her case. She is represented by a public defender. My client is being held without charge pending a hearing on Thursday in which prosecutors will decide whether to charge her and, if so, whether to try her as an adult or as a juvenile.

"My client and her family have cooperated fully with the investigation. They voluntarily consented to a search of their home for weapons (none were found) when contacted by law enforcement in December and consented to a voluntary psychiatric screening while investigators gathered facts in both cases. They will continue to cooperate with the District Attorney’s office as the investigation proceeds."

Dagny Van Der Jagt.
Dagny Van Der Jagt.

Van Der Jagt doesn't shrug off the accusations. noting that "we understand the need for prosecutors and law enforcement to be vigilant in cases such as these."

She adds, "It is our hope, after weeks of investigation, that prosecutors recognize the different sets of facts in these two cases and evaluate my client’s circumstances accordingly."

For more about Johnson, including her self-authored biography, click here.


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