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Friday, 26 April, 2002, 21:28 GMT 22:28 UK
Student guilty of school massacre plot
De Anza College
DeGuzman had planned to attack De Anza College
A student has been found guilty of plotting a "Columbine-style" massacre at his college campus last year in San Jose, California.

Al DeGuzman, 20, was convicted of 108 counts out of 116 related to the plan to kill his fellow students at the De Anza College, using an arsenal of Molotov cocktails, homemade bombs and firearms he had stockpiled.

Al DeGuzman appearing in court
DeGuzman during his court appearance
He is to be sentenced at the end of June and faces up to 100 years in prison.

The court heard that he was within hours of carrying out his plot when it was foiled by a sharp-eyed assistant at a photographic store in January last year.

The woman called the police when she developed pictures of Mr DeGuzman posing with weapons and explosives.

In a raid on his home, they found a huge cache weapons and a detailed plan to attack the campus.

The trial was held without a jury, because DeGuzman's attorneys worried the 11 September terrorist attacks would influence jurors.

DeGuzman's lawyer argued unsuccessfully during the trial that the student was not really going to carry out the plot.

DeGuzman was convicted of 54 counts of possessing a destructive device and 54 counts of possessing a destructive device with intent to harm. The eight other counts were dismissed.

He could receive a far shorter prison term if his sentences are allowed to run concurrently.

Deadly plan

Prosecutors said the alleged plot was centred on the school's cafeteria and could have killed as many as 50 people if it had been executed.

During the trial, prosecutors went through DeGuzman's writings, which illustrated what they said was his meticulous planning for the murder spree as he purchased weapons, designed bombs, drew campus maps and plotted how best to get his message to the public.

At one point, prosecutor Tom Farris read a selection from DeGuzman's journal in which he described the impact he expected his attack to have.

"I will be a god," Mr Farris quoted DeGuzman as saying. "[My] death will be more significant to all mankind than any religion or god created in the last 3,000 years."

America and the gun

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See also:

02 Feb 01 | Americas
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Columbine audio tapes released
24 Jun 00 | Americas
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15 May 00 | Americas
US moms protest against guns
20 Apr 00 | Americas
In pictures: Columbine remembers
20 Apr 00 | Americas
One year after Columbine
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