Flag High

The entrance to Flagstaff High School

A former student accused of leaving at least one threatening note at Flagstaff High School last spring could agree to a plea deal on Monday.

Zoe Sawyers, 18, was arrested on April 27 and charged with one felony count of interfering with an educational institution and one misdemeanor count of threats and intimidation.

She is scheduled to appear before Division 5 Superior Court Judge Cathleen Brown Nichols at 8:15 a.m. on Monday for a change-of-plea hearing.

She has currently pleaded not guilty.

The incident occurred when Sawyers was a minor; however, the Coconino County Attorney’s Office did not charge her with a crime until June, when she became an adult under the law.

The former Flagstaff High School student, who graduated in June, according to her Facebook page, has been on house arrest under the watch of pretrial services since June 19.

The conditions of her release forbid Sawyers from using a phone, tablet or computer except to talk with her lawyer, allowed her to leave the house only for work and subjected her to random drug and alcohol tests.

Court documents show that she failed a test on July 19 after she tested positive for alcohol. Court documents do not state any sanctions she may have received for violating the terms of her release. The legal drinking age is 21. 

The county attorney’s office charged Sawyers only for the note found on April 27 threatening a Columbine-type shooting. No other suspects or charges have been filed regarding the other six threatening notes left in Flagstaff High School bathrooms last year.

No classes were disrupted, but one note resulted in a lockdown and early release. Some after-school activities were canceled and the police department stationed an officer at the school. One note targeted students and teachers by name and their Christian faith. Parents were given the option of keeping children at home on the Columbine anniversary, and more than half of all students were absent that day. 

According to police reports, Sawyers admitted to writing a note on the bathroom wall in black marker on April 27, a week after the Columbine anniversary. She told police that she wrote the note to avoid an English assignment. She was also the person who alerted police to the note.

The police report noted that Sawyers did not seem to know she was in trouble until she was arrested.

A witness reported Sawyers in the girls’ bathroom 10 minutes before the note was discovered acting strangely and leaving the bathroom without using it.

Video surveillance footage also shows Sawyers walking by the bathroom with a friend and then waving the friend off when she tried to go inside.

However, Sawyers denied any involvement in the other notes.

Police searched Sawyers' phone and social media accounts, but they could find only one message pertaining to the threatening notes.

The message showed Sawyers telling a friend that she knew the person who found one of the notes on April 26.

Officials from the Flagstaff Police Department declined to comment on the matter.

Flagstaff High School Principal Tony Cullen did not respond to multiple interview requests.

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Max Lancaster is the crime and courts reporter for the Arizona Daily Sun. He enjoys all things music and just learned how Kombucha is made.

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