School abuzz after Hesperia students allegedly attacked mother
The trio was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of trying to kill the mother of one of the students, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. The victim’s 13-year-old daughter apparently was upset over a curfew and other rules placed on her by her mother, said Susan Rose, a sheriff’s spokeswoman.
Talk of an alleged murder plot by three Hesperia teenagers was rampant at Ranchero Middle School on Wednesday morning, where students were supposed to be enjoying their final day of the school year.
Mark McKinney, superintendent of the Hesperia Unified School Districts, said the arrests were shocking, and "sad news to hear."
“It’s a tragedy, and we really feel for those involved," McKinney said Wednesday morning. “It’s the last day of school and we’re just trying to keep everything as normal as possible."
McKinney said that sheriff’s investigators came to Ranchero Middle School on Tuesday and removed a 14-year-old student during an awards ceremony attended by the school's students.
He couldn’t confirm that the other two teenagers arrested also attended the school because detectives had not released details of the alleged plot or suspects to school officials.
“From what I knew about her in the seventh grade, I was really surprised…” to hear about the arrest, said Jashon Lee, 14, a former student at the school. “It’s totally unlike her.”
Lee transferred to a different middle school in Victorville earlier in the school year. He was on the Ranchero Middle School campus with his mother Wednesday morning to return books.
Another student, a 14-year-old girl, said the victim’s daughter had been out of class since Monday. The two often would spend time at the local mall together after school or on weekends, she said.
“She didn’t tell me anything," the girl said. “It’s just crazy."
The alleged attack occurred early Tuesday morning, just after midnight. The mother was in bed when she was assaulted, sheriff’s officials said. Rose said there were "three means of attack" against the woman, but did not elaborate because the case remains under investigation.
Rose said the motive is still under investigation, but a curfew or other rule appeared to trigger the incident. There were no allegations of abuse in the house, she said.
All three suspects -- the 13-year-old daughter, a 14-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy -– were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of attempted murder, burglary and conspiracy. They were booked into Apple Valley Juvenile Detention Facility in the high desert.
This post was updated at 12:25 p.m.
-- Phil Willon in Hesperia
Photo: Angelica Aquirre, the mother of the 13-year-old Hesperia girl accused of plotting to kill her, is overwhelmed with emotion inside her mobile home after talking about the attack. Credit: Phil Willon / Los Angeles Times