Judge convicts Missouri man who said he planned theater shooting

Reuters News
Posted: Jan 31, 2014 5:19 PM

By Kevin Murphy

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Reuters) - A man who had told police he planned mass shootings at a southwest Missouri movie theater or a Wal-Mart store in late 2012 was convicted on Friday on two weapons-related charges, prosecutors said.

Blaec Lammers, 21, was convicted of first-degree assault and armed criminal action after a bench trial before state court Judge William Roberts, Polk County Prosecuting Attorney Ken Ashlock said.

Police said they arrested Lammers in November 2012 after his mother told authorities he had bought weapons similar to those used months earlier in a mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater where 12 people were killed and dozens wounded.

Lammers admitted to police he had bought two assault rifles and 400 rounds of ammunition with plans to carry out a mass shooting in Bolivar, Missouri, similar to the attack in Colorado, police said at the time.

He told police he was concerned he would run out of ammunition and also planned to go to a Wal-Mart in Bolivar, a city of about 10,000 residents, where he could get ammunition and shoot people there, police said.

Even though Lammers did not bring weapons to the theater or store, Missouri law allowed the assault and armed criminal action charges because he was gathering weapons and ammunition.

Prosecutors also had charged Lammers with making a terrorist threat. Roberts dismissed that charge, finding that Lammers had not threatened anyone before his arrest and only disclosed his plans later to police, Ashlock said.

Lammers has been held without bond since his arrest. He faces up to 15 years in prison on the first-degree assault conviction and three years to life on the armed criminal action conviction when he is due to be sentenced on March 20.

(Reporting by Kevin Murphy; Editing by David Bailey and Mohammad Zargham)