On November 6, 2023, William ‘Lily’ Whitworth, 19, pleaded guilty to Second-Degree Assault for threatening to target three schools in Colorado Springs Academy District 20.
On March 31, 2023, deputies with the Elbert County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to a “disturbance” call at a home in unincorporated Elbert County. A family member told the call taker that the defendant had threatened to shoot up a school and was punching holes a wall.
During the investigation, the defendant admitted to planning an attack. While on scene, deputies noticed a dry erase board in the home which appeared to have a labeled floor plan of a school and a notebook with some additional drawings and floor plans.
Whitworth was initially booked into jail and held on $75,000 bond. While in-custody, the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office was informed the defendant had told a jail staff member that if they were able to bond out, they would still try to carry out the original mass shooting plan.
Based on this information, the DA’s Office filed a motion to increase bond. On April 13, a judge adjusted the bond amount to $750,000 cash or surety.
On November 6, the defendant accepted a plea agreement and entered a plea of “guilty” to Second-Degree Assault, a class 4 felony offense.
“This case shows our commitment to taking threats seriously and being proactive in preventing a potential tragedy,” Chief Deputy DA Eva Wilson said. “We commend the Elbert County Sheriff’s Office for their investigative work on this case. We’re glad no one was injured.”
Whitworth faces a maximum of 16 years in the Department of Corrections.
Sentencing is set for January 19, 2024.
“We often question how tragedies happen after it’s too late,” District Attorney John Kellner said. “In this case, a family member had the courage and strength to pick up the phone and call for help. I encourage everyone when it comes to school security, if you see something concerning to report it right away. That call may save lives.”