ROY — In January of 2012, Joshua Hoggan was arrested and jailed for plotting to plant explosives during a Roy High School assembly.
Now, less than a year and a half later, he's running for mayor.
Because Hoggan, now 18 and a political science major at Weber State University, was convicted as a juvenile, he is free to run for office. Had he been charged as an adult like his co-conspirator, he likely would not be able to run.
The filing forces a primary race that will include Hoggan, current Mayor Joe Ritchie and Roy Councilman Willard Cragun.
Hoggan declined to comment to the Deseret News about his decision to run, instead deferring to a news conference on June 24 when he said he will answer questions regarding his candidacy.
On Jan. 25, 2012, Roy High seniors Hoggan and Dallin Morgan were arrested after police say they developed an elaborate plan to bomb an assembly, targeting many students at Roy High School because they "wanted revenge on the world." At the time, Hoggan was 16, while Morgan was one month past his 18th birthday. Morgan was charged as an adult, but Hoggan’s case went through juvenile court despite indications that he was the leader of the plot.
Hoggan sent a number of text messages detailing his plans. In one text, Hoggan warned a friend, "If I tell you one day not to go to school, make damn sure you and (name redacted) are not there," a police affidavit states.
"Dallin is in on it," another text message said. "He wants revenge on the world, too."
In another text, Hoggan wrote: "I've just been kinda planning my get back at the world thing and I figured if you had anyone you wanted revenge on, I could see if I have anything planned."
School administrators found a map of Roy High School that outlined where the school's cameras and blind spots are located. The two students had also purchased an advanced flight-simulator computer program and "logged hundreds of hours" on it, according to police.
Investigators uncovered evidence that the two were learning to fly and intended to steal a plane from the Ogden-Hinckley Airport after the attack and "fly to a country that they couldn't be extradited from." Hoggan said he was fascinated by the 1999 Columbine shooting in Colorado and has always had a love of aviation. Two things, he said, that "tended to not go so well together."
Hoggan and his family said the bomb plot was a misguided attempt to raise awareness about safety concerns at the school. Prosecutors said the entire plan was "primarily initiated" by Hoggan. Morgan, who had no prior record, had a "much more minimal" role.
Hoggan pleaded guilty in juvenile court to use of a weapon of mass destruction, a first-degree felony, as part of a plea bargain. He was sentenced to six months in a youth prison. Morgan pleaded no contest to an amended count of criminal mischief, a second-degree felony, in connection with the bomb and was ordered to spend 105 days in jail and up to 18 months on probation.
In an email to the Ogden Standard-Examiner, Hoggan said he chose to run for mayor based on the idea of change in Roy. He said younger leaders would be more efficient because they could bring fresh ideas to the community. As for his criminal history, he said he knows it will be a major consideration for voters in his bid for mayor.
“I feel that my past with the Roy High School incident can definitely play a role in whether I could gain enough votes to secure the mayoral role,” he wrote. “I’ve made more than my fair share of mistakes, and I feel that being trusted with the mayorship would be the ultimate way for me to fully give back to my community.”
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