Georgia Teens Plead Guilty in Plot to Bomb High School

mccurley dupree bomb napalm etowah plot
Defendants Victoria McCurley and Alfred Dupree pleaded guilty to multiple counts of conspiracy to commit murder on Friday. Cherokee County Sheriff's Office

Two Georgia teens who were accused of plotting to firebomb their school in 2017 pleaded guilty on Friday.

Alfred Dupree, 19, and Victoria McCurley, 18, were each charged with several counts of conspiracy to commit murder, one count of conspiracy to commit arson and one count of attempt to use a destructive device.

The teens were arrested in 2017 after a tipster alerted police to their plans, which involved assembling explosive material, drawing up what the Grand Jury described as a "hit list" and constructing a rough blueprint of the school in furtherance of their plot.

The pair were both students at the school targeted in their attack plans, Etowah High, in Woodstock — a town of around 25,000 people 30 miles north of Atlanta.

Friday's hearing was adjourned as it continued late into the day and is expected to resume on Monday.

During the course of the investigation, detectives seized from McCurley's home two jars they believed to contain gunpowder and homemade napalm and from Dupree's home a set of journals which contained a list of students and teachers at the high school McCurley and Dupree aimed to target.

"We prevented something from happening," Cherokee County Sheriff Frank Reynolds said after the students' plot was revealed. "We saved potential lives."

At Friday's hearing, prosecutors disclosed that among the specific targets in the defendants' bomb plot were a group of special education students and their teacher.

McCurley's friends and family told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that they did not believe she would ever harm any of her classmates.

"McCurley was the victim of bullying and neglect," the paper wrote, describing the beliefs of a family member. "Her dark social media posts were cries for help and her plans to hurt others were a mask for her desire to hurt herself."

Around the time of the arrests, Reynolds indicated that the attacks would have been a "Columbine-type incident," referring to the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado that killed 13 people.

"All last year, I saw him at lunch, and he never, like he would make jokes about school shootings and stuff, but he would make funny jokes about them," then-Etowah High junior Skylor Webb told a local television station about Dupree. "So, we never really took that as a sign. I never thought he'd do anything like that."

At Friday's hearing, McCurley admitted telling officers investigating the case that she'd "like to get our numbers up higher than Las Vegas," a reference to the October 2017 shooting on the Las Vegas Strip that took 58 lives, the deadliest single mass shooting in American history.

The defendants could face decades of prison time, though a specific sentence has not yet been handed down.