April 29, 2014: John LaDue, 17, is arrested after an alert citizen happened to see him struggle to enter a storage locker in Waseca and called police. Officers find LaDue in the locker with bomb-making materials and he tells them of his detailed plans to kill his family and set off bombs and shoot at his school. Prosecutors soon charge him with a dozen felonies, including attempted first-degree murder.
July 2014: A district judge dismisses the most serious charges against LaDue, finding that prosecutors hadn’t shown that the boy’s actions went beyond “mere preparation’’ and did not rise to the level of attempted murder and damage to property. A state appeals court panel later agrees.
September 2015: Under an agreement with prosecutors, LaDue pleads guilty in adult court to a single felony count of possessing an explosive device. He agrees to voluntarily serve up to 10 years’ probation, including an unspecified amount of time in a treatment facility, to keep the felony off his record.
May 2016: LaDue returns to Waseca to live at home.
July 2016: LaDue tells a judge he wants to opt out of his voluntary probation after deciding that having a felony on his record may not hurt his job prospects as much as he once feared. He had already served all of the incarceration time for his crime, so he walks away from the courthouse free from supervision, therapy and other probationary restrictions.
December 2016: LaDue graduates from community college with a certificate in welding.
January 2017: LaDue starts a job with a manufacturer.