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Freedom High School bomb plot case to end with plea deal

TAMPA — Jared Cano will plead no contest to charges that he plotted to blow up Freedom High School in 2011, his lawyer told a judge Wednesday morning.

He will be sentenced on Oct. 16, Hillsborough Circuit Judge Kimberly Fernandez said.

Cano, now 18, was 17 years old when police discovered what they called bomb making materials at his home. They also found a journal detailing his plans and Internet searches for bomb recipes. Police had received a tip from one of Cano's friends who said the boy planned to build and detonate a bomb at Freedom High School in New Tampa. The tipster said Cano spoke of killing more people than those who died in the shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado and at Virginia Tech.

Cano was arrested in August 2011 and charged with attempting to make a bomb and threatening to discharge it at the school. He has remained in jail since then.

In July, Cano's lawyer, Norman Cannella, asked a judge to throw out the case, saying his client's plan was "half-baked" and that he never actually threatened anyone. But the judge did not agree, ruling last month that the case should stand.

In court Wednesday, Cannella said he will call witnesses on behalf of Cano and that the sentencing will take at least an hour. Many variables, including Cano's age and personal history, could affect a sentence. But two of his charges are second-degree felonies that carry potential prison terms up to 15 years.

Freedom High School bomb plot case to end with plea deal 09/05/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 5, 2012 1:49pm]

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