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Teen speaks out about writing hit list
JEFFERSON COUNTY - by Haley Bull
It's not uncommon to hear about a student who writes a hit list, targeting individuals, but it's not often the student speaks out. Wednesday, a teen who wrote a hit list at Hamshire-Fannett High School last December is sharing the message she hopes others learn from her mistake.
A little before 6 a.m. Wednesday, 16-year old Amy Hebert waits for the school bus with her mother by her side.
"I just, you know, regret it. I regret everything. I wish I would have tried something else," she said.
The bus won't take her to Hampshire-Fannett High School. Instead, Hebert will spend her day at an alternative school behind the Minnie Rogers Juvenile Justice Center. Why?
"Well I'm the girl who wrote the hit list at Hamshire-Fannett," Amy said.
"Well I never would have thought in a million years that Amy would have done that," Ladell Hebert, Amy's mother, said.
December 11, 2013, Amy walked into school carrying a list she wrote at home.
"It just had, you know, students' names and said that they'll be taken care of by Christmas," Amy said.
There were 12 names on the note. Not long before Amy wrote it, she'd heard about a similar hit list in another district. That's where she got the idea.
"After I wrote it, I realized that you know kids that write hit lists, we actually get in trouble not after what the news says you know, 'cuz I just thought you know nothing happens to them," Amy said.
She quickly realized that's not the case.
"When we saw her she had shackles on her ankles up to her waist, you know, it was like she, it was like a murderer," Ladell said.
Amy was arrested and spent a week confined to the Minnie Rogers Juvenile Justice Center. She was 15-years old, charged with a terroristic threat, a third-degree felony.
"I want to stand up for what I did so people, and just show other people the consequences of my actions," Amy said.
She's expelled from school for 101 days and on probation for a year. She also has to complete 100 hours of community service.
"I don't want no one else copying what I did, although there has been kids that copied what I did already, but I won't want no more kids to do it," Amy said.
"She's a good person that made a horrible choice, you know a horrible decision, and I don't want anybody else to go through it," Ladell said.
It's a crime John Nelson, an assistant criminal district attorney in Jefferson County, said is becoming more common.
"About nine times out of 10 it's a cry for help or it's a way to say, hey, this is what I'm faced with, somebody please help me, and they don't know how to say that," Nelson said.
Amy agreed the message on her note was a cry for attention.
"I do want to apologize for what I did, you know, I never meant to hurt anyone," she said.
Now, she has a different message for other kids thinking about lashing out through words on a note.
"It's not worth it at all. I mean you're gonna get attention, but it's not the good kind," Amy said. "It's gonna change your life for a pretty long time."
The head of juvenile probation in Jefferson County said in general, if a child is going through a difficult time they should seek out and talk to an adult. He said parents should always keep an eye out for behavioral changes, ask questions, be observant and seek help if you notice your child becoming distant.