GORHAM (AP) – A 14-year-old boy was charged with conspiracy to commit murder following threats he allegedly made at Gorham Middle School, police said.

Police Chief Ron Shepard credited students with warning adults about the threats. The students’ action allowed police to act before the situation escalated, he said.

“This is a perfect example of kids doing what they should have done,” he said. “The fortunate thing we have here is we aren’t reacting to an incident but we’re ahead of the bubble and we’re dealing with something before it became a disaster.”

Although the boy did not have access to a weapon, information found during a search of the boy’s home supported the felony charge of conspiracy to commit murder, police said.

Parents were notified of the arrest in notices sent home last week, said Gorham school Superintendent Ted Sharp.

The boy’s case will be heard in District Court. Generally, youths can be held only until their 21st birthday if convicted in juvenile court. For adults, conspiracy to commit murder carries a sentence of up to 30 years in prison.

Information from: Portland Press Herald, http://www.pressherald.com

AP-ES-05-03-07 0805EDT

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