Search documents: Defendant identifies with Columbine
By Joe Beck
WOODSTOCK — Aaron Michael Trump, a student accused of plotting a massacre at Stonewall Jackson High School, identified himself on social media as a former or current student at Columbine High School in Colorado, according to recently unsealed search warrant documents.
Trump, 18, of Edinburg, has actually been enrolled in Shenandoah County Public Schools for years. But the search warrant documents confirm statements made elsewhere by authorities that they had obtained evidence purporting to show that Trump had taken an unsettling interest in the 1999 bombing and shooting attack at the Colorado high school.
The references to Columbine appear on two screen captures contained among the search warrant documents. The images of the two captures were taken from Facebook accounts maintained by Trump, according to search warrant affidavits filed by James Cowart of the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office.
Trump is charged with one count each of conspiring to commit terrorism, communicating a bomb threat and building a phony device intended to lead others into believing it was a bomb.
He remains in jail and is scheduled to appear in circuit court on March 12. His attorney, Brandon Keller, and assistant commonwealth’s attorney Louis Campola are attempting to negotiate a settlement in the case.
Campola was tight-lipped about the search warrant documents, which were unsealed Feb. 2.
“It’s ongoing case. I can’t comment on it,” Campola said.
Keller did not return a message seeking comment.
Cowart’s affidavit states that he learned on Sept. 27 that Trump “planned to carry out an an act of domestic terrorism at Stonewall Jackson High School in Quicksburg. Further investigation revealed that Trump utilized the above Facebook page to make mention of the acts he planned to commit.”
The search warrant authorized Cowart to seek a variety of online communications associated with Trump’s account, including photos, private messages, wall postings, videos, registered mobile phone number, text messages, notes, events and any Internet provider address.
Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or firstname.lastname@example.org