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Man who plotted attack at Malcolm High School making progress

Man who plotted attack at Malcolm High School making progress

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A 28-year-old Lincoln man who planned a Columbine-style attack at Malcolm High School in 2004 is progressing but still needs to be under order of the court, Chief Deputy Lancaster County Attorney Pat Condon said at an annual review hearing this week.

Joshua L. Magee has been living on his own in an apartment near the Capitol for the past year.

He was committed to the Lincoln Regional Center in 2006, after he was found not guilty of attempted murder by reason of mental illness. He stayed there for nine years before being transferred to a supervised residential program for adults with serious mental illness.

Last year, District Judge Paul Merritt Jr. allowed Magee to live independently at the D Street apartment.

At the mental health review hearing Tuesday, Deputy Public Defender Kristi Egger-Brown told District Judge Susan Strong that Magee's focus right now is on working toward an associate degree at Southeast Community College.

At the end of the hearing, she found that Magee remains dangerous by reason of mental illness and set his next review hearing for next year. In an order issued later, she continued his treatment plan with Blue Valley Behavioral Health, which has responsibility for his psychiatric treatment and social support needs.

Magee is subject to periodic medical tests, including random urine and blood tests, to ensure he is taking his medication and abstaining from using alcohol and illegal substances, according to the order.

In 2004, when he was 17, Magee planned an attack at Malcolm High but changed his mind in the parking lot and told the principal.

After law enforcement found rocket-style fireworks packed with drywall screws, Molotov cocktail gasoline bombs and other explosive devices in the trunk of Magee's vehicle, prosecutors charged him with attempted first-degree murder.

At the end of a three-day trial, District Judge Karen Flowers found Magee not guilty by reason of mental illness.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7237 or On Twitter @LJSpilger.


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Public safety reporter

Lori Pilger is a Norfolk native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been a public safety reporter for the Journal Star since 2005.

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