Frederick, MD – A former honor student, accused of chronicling a detailed plot to violently attack her high school, was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Tuesday.
The sentence was handed down on the same day that Nicole Cevario, 19, pleaded guilty to one count of possessing explosive material with the intent to create a destructive device, WRC reported.
The court also imposed a five-year supervised prison sentence to follow the teen’s term of incarceration, WTOP reported.
Investigators became aware of Cevario’s plan to carry out a mass shooting at Catoctin High School after her father read the girl’s diary in March of 2017.
The teen wrote that she believed she would be the first female mass shooter.
Concerned about the journal’s contents, her father alerted school officials, and Cevario was promptly removed from her classroom and taken for an involuntary psychological evaluation.
As police began dissecting the meticulous plans Cevario recorded in her diary, they realized the full scope of the teen’s intent.
“We felt this was going to be carried out,” Frederick County Sheriff Charles Jenkins said, according to WRC. “There is no doubt in our minds that we diverted a disaster up there.”
Cevario wrote about a shotgun, ammunition, bomb-making materials, and details of the high school’s emergency response plan, WJLA reported.
According to WTOP, she took special interest in the school’s resource deputy, and asked questions about how police would arm themselves in the event of an emergency.
She had even selected the date of Apr. 5, 2017 to follow through with her plot, police said.
Her writings analyzed mass school shootings in Columbine, Colorado and Newtown, Connecticut, and took special note of the mistakes those shooters made during their attacks, Sheriff Jenkins said, according to WRC.
“The journal was very detailed, including a timeline that revealed how she was going to execute the plot, and her expectations at each stage of the event,” police said.
At Cevario’s home, police found a stockpile of bomb-making materials that included pipes, caps, shrapnel, fireworks, magnesium tape, and fuse material.
A shotgun and ammunition were also recovered, and the teen had written about her plans to saw off the gun’s barrel.
If the attack went off as planned, Cevario planned to kill herself with the shotgun, she wrote.
She later admitted to police that she intended to detonate homemade pipe bombs at the school, and confirmed that she planned to die in the attack.
“Clearly, Ms. Cevario posed a threat not only to the school, but to herself,” FCSO said in a statement shortly after the journal’s contents were discovered.
Investigators said they found no evidence that anyone else was involved in the teen’s plot.
Prior to the discovery of Cevario’s journal, the high school student was simultaneously taking college classes in the field of criminal justice.
She was arrested on Mar. 31, 2017, after her psychological evaluation was completed, WTOP reported.
At sentencing, the court prohibited Cevario from going near any educational institutions once she was released from prison.