Another sixteen-year-old girl was also arrested in the case, and in recent days, her attorney, Dagny Van Der Jagt, attempted to distance her from Johnson, writing in a statement that "the girls were casual school acquaintances who had associated with each other for a brief time" and adding, "They have different backgrounds, personalities, motivations and behaviors. "
Nonetheless, prosecutors yesterday decided to charge the second girl as an adult, too.
Her name is Brooke Higgins, and in a court hearing yesterday, she was reportedly alleged to have had a fascination with the 1999 attack on Columbine High School, expressing a wish to have taken part in the massacre and even taking a photo of herself in front of the facility.
The delay in the move to prosecute Higgins through the adult court system gave Higgins's family the opportunity to lawyer up, as well as to secure the services of GBSM, a powerful Denver-based management consulting, strategic communications and public affairs firm.
Presumably, these pros are responsible for more effectively scrubbing Higgins's social media profile from the Internet than was the case with Johnson, whose Facebook and (fascinating) Weebly pages remain online at this writing.
Moreover, a GBSM associate contacted Westword to ask that we "not publish photos of Brooke given she is a 16-year-old girl and the circumstance of her case (including that it may end up back in juvenile court)." However, the associate added, "If your outlet does choose to publish photos, the family would at least like you to have a high-quality version."
Here's that shot.
In the meantime, other images have surfaced that, in our view, are in no way problematic and of significant news value, particularly given the adult charges and the seriousness of the accusations.
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They include the photo at the top of this post, as well as this portrait....
...and this one:
Attempts to control the Higgins narrative were made even more difficult by prosecutorial assertions made at yesterday's hearing.
According to 7News, Johnson made reference to Higgins in her journal as "someone who's got what it takes."
Other Johnson journal excerpts were said to dub the team of Sienna and Brooke as an "unstoppable" force that would "prove what we are capable of" by turning Mountain Vista into "a living fucking nightmare."
Additionally, prosecutors maintained, Higgins conducted searches about how to obtain guns as a minor and the term "female mass shooter" and wrote about Columbine in a journal of her own.
That journal didn't include any specifics about a plan to attack Mountain Vista, Higgins's attorneys stressed,
"There is no direct evidence in this case of Defendant’s possession of any weapons, bombs, or incendiary devices," her defense allowed. "Instead, the prosecution’s theory hinges upon entries written in Defendant’s personal journal, which was seized by law enforcement without a warrant and without consent of either Defendant or her parents."
As was the case with Johnson, Higgins's records are being sealed. She's next due in court on January 21.
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