A second Lorena High School student was arrested Thursday in connection with an alleged plot to kill an assistant principal in late January by poisoning him, an arrest affidavit states.
Shelbi Grace Gill, 17, has been charged with making a terroristic threat after she and 17-year-old Kelly Lynn Praytor, who was arrested Jan. 30 in connection with the case, were overheard talking about ways to kill the school administrator, the document states.
A substitute teacher reportedly heard the two girls talking about the plan in her class and said the two were going into specific details about how to “get away with it, such as poisoning him with an undetectable substance,” the warrant states.
“One of the girls violated a Lorena Independent School District policy, and when she was found in violation of this policy, an administrator admonished her on it and (that) led to some threats being made at a later time,” Lorena Police Chief Tom Dickson said.
The policy involved students not being allowed to travel off the campus once school starts for the day, he said.
“Apparently, one of these students left the building,” Dickson said. “From what we can tell, that’s where this started from.”
Superintendent Joe Kucera said Lorena ISD’s campuses are closed once the day starts, and typically students must be signed out by parents to leave.
“There was a rules violation of something, but we’re a closed campus and kids do have to follow our protocols and procedures for signing in and out,” Kucera said.
Several students also overheard the plot in the classroom, and administrators investigated the comments. When the girls were interviewed by administrators, neither denied making the statements, the document states. Comments were also made about knowing where the assistant principal lives and about his wife and children, the document states.
The administrators were alarmed about the statements and the assistant principal was fearful they might actually attempt to put the plan into action because of the “level of specific planning,”,” the affidavit states. The substitute teacher also said she was afraid to tell administrators because of the aggressive tone the girls had and she feared they might attempt to hurt her as well, according to the affidavit.
Gill was arrested 10 days after Praytor, but Dickson did not expand on why. He only said police have been working closely with the families involved.
“The second person we had a warrant for (Gill) was unavailable to turn herself in. We were in contact with her parents and they notified us that she was available. Yesterday, we served the warrant on the second suspect,” Dickson said. “Obviously, they’re concerned. Naturally, as a parent, any time your child is accused of criminal wrongdoing, it’s concerning.”
When Praytor was arrested, Dickson said there was no immediate threat to students or staff, and Kucera said safety is always the top priority in the district. The case is still under investigation, but Dickson said it should be wrapped up within the next couple of weeks and sent to the district attorney’s office.
Kucera said because of privacy laws, he couldn’t comment on specific disciplinary measures the district would take to address the situation, but said any discipline would be in compliance with school board policy, state and federal laws. He also said the assistant principal targeted by the two students is still working in his role at the high school.
“He’s working, doing his normal routine,” Kucera said. “He’s all good.”
Gill was taken to McLennan County Jail where she was booked in on the Class B misdemeanor, but a bond amount was not immediately available.