A 17-year-old Georgia girl has been sentenced to four years in juvenile detention over her alleged plot to attack a predominantly Black church last year.
CNN reports that the teen, who is not named since she is still a minor, was arrested in November 2019 when her plan to kill members of the historically Black church was discovered by authorities. Police indicated that her plans weren't too far off from the plans of mass murderer and white supremacist Dylann Roof, the perpetrator of the horrific Charleston, South Carolina church shooting that killed nine Black attendees on June 17, 2015.
"I'm truly sorry for what I've done," the teen said in court on Thursday.
She has pleaded guilty to one count of criminal attempt to commit a felony. She will be committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice for four years, and will face 10 years of probation for the foiled plan. The church in question is the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Gainesville, which is reportedly over a century old
"While we are angered and frustrated by this incident, we do not hold hostility against this defendant," said presiding prelate of the Sixth Episcopal District of the AME Church, Bishop Reginald T. Jackson. "While she apparently hates or hated us, we do not hate her, and do not wish to nullify her future, and do not give up on her." In addition to her time in juvenile detention, she will receive court-ordered counseling and is mandated to issue an apology letter to the church.
Authorities were made aware of her plot after a student at the same high school in Gainesville overheard her talking about her plans, prompting them to alert the principal. Officials say her notebook included writings about her idea to attack individuals at a Black church, while a t-shirt found in her backpack read, "Free Dylann Storm Roof" and featured swastikas on the sleeves.
"I do believe myself to be a white supremacist," she wrote on another one of her shirts.