Trial Begins for Man Accused of Theater Shooting Plot

By Linda Ong |

Published 01/30 2014 05:56PM

Updated 01/31 2014 08:40AM

BOLIVAR, Mo. -- The trial for a Bolívar man accused with plotting a mass shooting at a movie theater began Thursday.

Balec Lammers, 21, is charged with three felony counts. His trial comes after it was rescheduled from early January.

The case reminds many people of the 2012 theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado.

In this case, there were no victims and no harm done, but the state is saying there is enough evidence to prove that Lammer's had the intention of harming many people.

A visibly compliant Blaec Lammers sat before Judge Bill Roberts for his bench trial starting early at 9 a.m. Thursday.

Wearing an orange shirt and pants and in handcuffs, Lammers was attentive and followed official orders, occasionally looking at witnesses in the eye.

Lammers is charged with first degree assault and armed criminal action. The judge dropped the charge of making terroristic threats Thursday.

According to witnesses, Lammers purchased AR-style guns from Wal-Mart days before he was arrested.

Tension grew as one of the key witnesses took the stand; Lammers' mother, Patricia Lammers. She said she found a receipt for purchased guns in Lammers' jeans pocket and received a call from the father of Blaec's girlfriend regarding storage of Lammers' guns at his house.

It was these incidents, tied with her son's history of mental illness, that led her to tell officials.

“My intention was to let city sheriff know that the guns were out there, to watch out for my son, not my intention to get him arrested,” said Patricia Lammers. “I didn't want my son to kill himself.”

This prompted the Bolívar Police Department to do a well-being check on Lammers at a local Sonic. Later, they decided more questioning was necessary.

It was at the station that Lammers was interviewed for more than 30 minutes in an interrogation-style room.

According to officers, Lammers was not arrested when he went to the sheriff's station. Video evidence of the interview shows Lammers claiming at first the guns were bought on a whim, then for hunting, and finally possibly for shooting people at a local Wal-Mart.

But he was interviewed by officers in a way that suggested he had the intention of harming people in a theater.

The case went to recess around 3 p.m. Thursday and will reconvene Friday at 9 a.m.

Lammers has spent the past 15 months in Polk County Jail awaiting trial.

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