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Peers betray student's plan for school terrorism

Published Sep. 26, 2005

He had a floor plan of Royal Palm Beach High School, an Internet cookbook for making bombs and a diary detailing plans for a campus shooting. The one thing the 17-year-old student didn't have is willing accomplices.

Thursday morning, police say Derek Lehman's plans to launch an assault at school were foiled when three boys he tried to recruit as accomplices and their parents alerted principal Brenda Montgomery. By the end of the day, police had scoured his house and Lehman was in custody.

"He had a great deal of animosity and anger toward other students and had been harassed in the past," schools police Chief Jim Kelly said Thursday.

The students told police Lehman had warned them they should stay away from building No. 3, Kelly said. The building is full of classrooms.

Lehman's plans were elaborate, but so far it appears he hadn't gotten his hands on any weapons, Kelly said. Police found no guns or bomb-making materials in his house, he said.

Lehman is being held at a hospital for examination under the state's Baker Act.