Despite claims by an attorney representing a former Conway High School student accused of creating a detailed plan to shoot up the school last year, prosecutors said evidence in the case was collected constitutionally.
Daniel Douglas Croslin, now 20, was charged in August with one count of attempted terrorism, a Class Y felony.
The former CHS student was 19 when he was initially accused of devising a complex plan to shoot up Conway High and attempting to gather accomplices in order to help him carry out his plans.
Last month, defense attorney Will Shelton requested a Bill of Particulars in the matter and also asked a circuit judge to exclude a doctor's opinion about Croslin as well as statements the defendant made to authorities and evidence collected from his cell phone and personal journal.
Shelton said he believed the doctor's opinion was not relevant in this matter, that prosecutors needed to give definitive examples of why Croslin was being charged and exclude evidence he believes was collected unconstitutionally.
In a motion filed in late-April, Shelton argued evidence from Croslin's cell phone should be excluded from the 20-year-old's case because authorities did not obtain a search warrant prior to collecting these items.
"Since no warrant was obtained, the cell phone evidence should be suppressed," the motion reads in part. "The journal was located in Croslin's old bedroom. The contents of a journal are highly personal and the privacy interest at a stake when reading one's journal or diary is exactly the type of privacy interest protected by the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article 2, Section 15 of the State Constitution, each guaranteeing that people's papers and effects will be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures."
The defense attorney argues that "there was not exigent risk to the community or to the destruction of evidence due to Croslin's hospitalization" when authorities learned of the evidence.
Hugh Finkelstein, chief deputy prosecutor, responded to Shelton's motions Wednesday morning, adding that all evidence was collected "in accordance with the Rules of Criminal Procedure, and the Constitution of the United States and the State of Arkansas."
"[Croslin] lacks standing to object to the suppression of the searches," he said.
In reference to a request for a Bill of Particulars, Finkelstein said the specifics of the case were already provided in detail to the defense counsel. Also in his response, Frankenstein provided a breakdown of the defendant's alleged actions that led to the criminal charges against Croslin.
Croslin is charged with attempted terrorism because he went out of his way to learn the school's layout and "created a diagram of Conway High School which included shooting lanes and exits," Finkelstein's response reads.
The motion also references a detailed plan "of how to attack and kill people" at the school after.
The then-19-year-old memorized diagrams about the plan, gathered components needed to make a pipe bomb, recruited his friends to buy items he needed "to cover up [the] paper trail leading back to him," asked his girlfriend to buy him an assault rifle and "pained the end of the barrel of a handgun to disguise it to look like a toy," the response to the Bill of Particulars request states.
Court documents also state that Croslin "actively researched other school shootings and documented his findings on how he could do it 'better.'"
The investigation against Croslin launched last year after he voluntarily checked himself into the psychiatric ward at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock after overdosing on Hydrocodone pills when he reportedly mentioned his plan to hospital staff in August.
Croslin told staff he was angry because he was bullied in school and wanted other students to suffer, noting he had access to firearms at both his mother and father’s residences.
The UAMS Police Department also conducted an investigation into statements he made while in the hospital’s psychiatric ward, according to the probable cause affidavit filed against him. Hospital staff who spoke with Croslin told authorities they believed the 19-year-old had surpassed the point of fantasy and seriously intended to carry out his harmful plans.
″[UAMSPD Sgt. Bradley] Jones informed me that Croslin has continued to make statements while at UAMS that he wanted to shoot up Conway High School,” Detective Andrew Johnson wrote in his report. “Jones also informed me that Croslin had made statements that he had been having friends make purchases of materials that would be used to make pipe bombs and propane bombs. And, he was having friends make those purchases so there would be no paper trail leading to Croslin. Jones stated that the doctors working with Croslin believed he had ‘crossed the line’ from this being a fantasy to it being a reality of something he was actually going to carry out. Jones also informed me that Croslin had told staff about one or possibly two notebooks in which he detailed all of his thoughts and plans on shooting up Conway High School, including detailed diagrams of the school.”
The FBI also aided in the investigation.
Local authorities ultimately arrested Croslin the day he was released from UAMS for fear he would act on the plans he was reportedly devising, according to the affidavit.
Croslin, who currently remains behind bars in the county jail in lieu of a $1 million bond, is scheduled to appear at 1 p.m. Aug. 26 for a motion hearing in Faulkner County Circuit Court.