OGDEN — Dallin Todd Morgan made his first court appearance Wednesday since being charged with possession of a weapon of mass destruction in what authorities say was a plot to bomb Roy High School.
Police and prosecutors say Morgan, 18, and 16-year-old Joshua Kyler Hoggan planned to detonate a bomb at a school assembly, steal an airplane at Ogden-Hinckley Airport and flee the country.
Hoggan has been charged with the same offense in juvenile court and prosecutors Tuesday filed court papers to certify him to stand trial with Morgan as an adult. The offense carries a possible life term in prison.
Morgan, free on $20,000 bail, entered 2nd District Court with his attorney Pete Lowe and two other people whose identities were not revealed.
Morgan walked past the throng of assembled media without a word. The group left the same way, the only words coming from Lowe as he identified himself.
In court, Morgan spoke only to say "Yes" in answer to a routine question from Judge W. Brent West.
No decisions on a preliminary hearing were made as West said he had to recuse himself from the case because Lowe is from Kristopher Greenwood’s law firm. West said he is currently mentoring staff from Greenwood’s firm. which creates a conflict of interest.
West set a Feb. 23 status conference for Morgan before fellow 2nd District Judge Michael Lyon, noting Lyon also may be hearing Hoggan’s case if it moves over from juvenile court.
According to the probable cause affidavit issued with Morgan’s arrest, much of the initial information came from texts Hoggan sent to friends about their allegd plans. At least two students went to school authorities to express concern about the alarming texts, with another dozen coming forward since the news hit the media.
"Dallin is in on it," one of Hoggan’s text reads, according to the charging document. "He wants revenge on the world too."
Hoggan also told a police detective he was fascinated by the April 20, 1999, shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo. Hoggan flew to Colorado on Dec. 12, 2011, and interviewed Columbine principal Frank DeAngelis.
Roy Police Chief Greg Whinham, who has since announced he could no longer comment on the case, said Friday the two planned the bombing for sometime in early February.