Elbert County teen pleads guilty in case involving planned school shooting

An Elbert County 19-year-old pleaded guilty to second-degree assault following a school shooting threat in March.

Lily Whitworth, who is listed in court documents as William Whitworth, was arrested after a family member called the Elbert County Sheriff’s Office to describe the threats and said Whitworth was punching holes in a wall.

Whitworth admitted planning the attack on three Colorado Springs Academy District 20 schools to deputies during the ensuing investigation. Deputies found a dry-erase board “which appeared to have a labeled floor plan of a school” in Whitworth’s home, according to a press release. A notebook with additional sketches and floor plans was also found. 

Whitworth accepted a plea deal on Monday, which dismissed five of the six charges against them, leaving the second-degree assault charge – a class 4 felony offense that carries a maximum of 16 years in prison. 

“We often question how tragedies happen after it’s too late,” District Attorney John Kellner said in the press release. “In this case, a family member had the courage and strength to pick up the phone and call for help.”

After Whitworth was booked into the Elbert County Jail, a staff member informed the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office that Whitworth said they would still attempt to carry out the shooting if their bond was paid. A judge then raised their bond from $75,000 to $750,000 on April 13. 

Sentencing in Whitworth’s case is scheduled for Jan. 19, 2024.