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Boston Police Eye Alleged Marshfield Plot Suspect2004

Boston Police Eye Alleged Marshfield Plot Suspect2004

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Boston police eye alleged Marshfieldplot suspect
Will investigate report that youth had service gun
By Suzanne Smalley, Globe Staff |
October 20, 2004Boston Police plan to contact authorities investigating the allegedColumbine-style attack plot at Marshfield High School to determine if a gunthat one suspect allegedly showed to another student was a .40-caliber handgun issued by Boston Police. A female student told Marshfield Police that Joseph T. Nee, one of the twosuspects in the case, pulled what she thought was a black, .40-caliber handgun from his waistband as she was getting off a school bus this pastspring and told her "how the school was going to be shot up," John P.McLaughlin, an assistant Plymouth district attorney, said at Nee'sarraignment Monday.Nee is the son of Thomas J. Nee, president of the Boston PolicePatrolmen's Association, the city's largest police union. Boston policeofficers carry .40-caliber Glock handguns, according to a departmentspokeswoman.Yesterday, Boston Police Lieutenant Kevin Foley said news reports thatJoseph Nee was carrying a .40-caliber handgun "was really the first we'dheard of that particular allegation."Foley said there has been no formal investigation by the department intowhether the handgun was a Boston police firearm, but "given theseriousness of the information, we will naturally follow it up."The Boston department will contact Marshfield authorities about thehandgun allegation, Foley said, and then decide whether to launch its owninvestigation.The Marshfield police chief said yesterday that authorities have not yetsearched the Nee house in town, and declined to say if authorities plan todo so, now that Joseph Nee has been charged.When authorities announced the arrest of the first suspect, 16-year-oldTobin Kerns of Marshfield, earlier this month, they said detectives hadsearched the Kerns family house and found items such as hand-drawnplans of the high school and a shopping list that included guns andammunition.But Police Chief William Sullivan said yesterday the "probable cause" thatled authorities to search the Kerns house was "not in play" with respect toJoseph Nee at the time the Kerns house was searched.During a lengthy interview with reporters Monday, Thomas Nee proclaimedhis son's innocence and highlighted the fact that police have not conducteda search of the family's home.Joseph Nee, 18, a senior at Marshfield High, pleaded not guilty in PlymouthDistrict Court Monday to one count of conspiracy to commit mass murder and one count of promoting anarchy. He was ordered held on bail pendinga dangerousness hearing today.Kerns, a junior at Marshfield High, has been identified by his father as the
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first suspect charged in the plot.Ben Kerns said his son has pleaded not guilty in Juvenile Court to eightcounts of threatening to commit a crime, two counts of promoting anarchy,and one count of attempt to commit a murder.Tobin Kerns was arrested Sept. 17, about a month before Joseph Nee wasarrested Monday."Nothing's changed since a month ago other than innuendo and people aretaking sides on an issue in a small town," Thomas Nee said Monday of hisson. "I personally witnessed police officers promise they wouldn't prosecutehim."However, Marshfield Police Captain Al Knight said Monday that thedepartment does not offer immunity to anyone.Thomas Nee said on Monday that he was flummoxed by his son's arrest,especially because his son voluntarily went to police to let authorities knowabout the plot."He was the confidential informant who stopped a tragedy," Nee said. "TheMarshfield Police Department has known my son's role and participation inthis event since early September."Nee said his son was threatened after going to the police and that theyoung man is particularly afraid of a group called the Disciples of Satan."The only question I asked my son is how did he get involved in this, and hesaid to me, 'Dad, what did I have to gain to come forward and tell the truth?I have nothing personal to gain, I've been physically threatened and calleda rat,' " Nee said.Ben Kerns has said his son was treated this summer at a psychiatricfacility for psychological abuse he suffered when he was younger.Nee said his son did not warn authorities about the bomb plot during thesummer because he thought Tobin Kerns "would get some help" during histreatment.He also said that he initially did not know that Joseph Nee had reported theattack plot to the police, and if he had known, he would not have allowedhim to speak to the police without a lawyer.Suzanne Smalley can be reached atssmalley@globe.com.
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