US mom admits helping son build weapons cache
Tuesday, September 23rd 2008, 3:12 PM
Michele Cossey arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa., in 2007.
Dillon Cossey, 14, is lead in shackles into the same courtroom.
NORRISTOWN, Pennsylvania – A woman admitted she helped her troubled, bullied 14-year-old son build a cache of weapons by buying him a rifle and gunpowder, but investigators still don’t know if she was aware her son was planning a deadly school attack.
Michele Cossey, 46, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of child endangerment. She admitted that she bought him a rifle with a laser scope and gunpowder, which investigators said he was using to build grenades.
Prosecutors said her son, Dillon, came to idolize the Columbine High School shooters, who killed 12 classmates and a teacher before committing suicide in 1999 in Colorado, and was planning an attack last year on Plymouth Whitemarsh High School, which some former schoolmates attended.
Cossey, bullied over his weight, had left public school half way through middle school and was being home-schooled. Over time, violent Internet sites fueled his revenge fantasies, his defense lawyer said after his juvenile court plea.
Assistant District Attorney Christopher Parisi said he thought purchasing the weapons was “an attempt to boost his self-esteem, and in some way help the child, as misplaced as those thoughts may have been.”
Michelle Cossey’s sentencing hearing won’t happen until after she undergoes a psychiatric evaluation.