Indiana Columbiner pleads guilty to school shooting plot during trial

Indiana Columbiner pleads guilty to school shooting plot during trial
John L Schultz IV

John L Schultz IV and Donald V. Robin Jr. were arrested back in the Summer of 2020 for allegedly plotting an attack against a school in the Rochester, Indiana area. Schultz was 18-years-old at the time, while Robin was 17. Both of them were said to be columbiners, that is, they had an unhealthy obsession with the infamous Columbine shooting from 1999. Their obsession was said to be so deep that not only did they refer to each other as ‘Reb’ and ‘Vodka’, but they both also had Columbine related tattoos.

Schultz was also said to have ‘decorated’ his room with various sayings related to Columbine.

Web searches were found on a computer used by the pair that included queries on how to buy a gun from a pawn sop while underage, how to hide a gun inside a trench coat, and how to steal propane tanks, just to name a few.

Robin had been charged as an adult, and around this time last year he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder. A month later, Robin was sentenced to 17 years behind bars with the possibility of parole in six years. At the time of his sentencing, Robin said that he had cleaned his life up since his arrest. He also claimed that not only did he stop doing meth, but he also had his Columbine tattoo covered up with a quote about family. As part of his plea agreement, Robin agreed to testify against Schultz.

Donald V. Robin Jr.

In July of last year, Schultz went to trial for conspiracy to commit murder, intimidation, and possession of methamphetamine. However, the trial was declared a mistrial when a unanimous decision could not be made on two of the three charges. A lone juror was the only dissenter, and it’s not been made public which charges the juror dissented on. A retrial had been scheduled for December of that year.

However, Schultz’s trial began earlier this month. I believe it was rescheduled due to COVID protocols, but I may be mistaken about that. There have been so many court proceedings lately, it’s difficult to keep them all straight.

On the first day of the trial, Robin testified that the pair watched a documentary about Columbine while high on drugs. That was when the pair started comparing themselves to the Columbine shooters. I find this quote from Robin to be a big part of the problem when it comes to columbiners.

He said the two began comparing themselves to Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold; Robin noted they really focused on Columbine because “there was so much information out there, so much fandom behind it.”

Keep in mind that neither Robin nor Schultz were even born when Columbine happened.

Anyway, Robin continued to testify that he stole a helium tank while Schultz stole a propane tank. The purpose of both were to create bombs which echoed another aspect of the Columbine shootings.

The pair was said to have disagreed on when the shooting should have taken place. Robin argued the end of the school year like Columbine was. Schultz argued it should take place at the beginning of the school year, so people could be reminded throughout the school year about what they did.

They also considered both Rochester High School and Caston High School as targets. Robin claims the pair was bullied while attending Rochester, but Caston would have provided a better target due to its location. According to Robin, it would have taken police and emergency services longer to get to Caston giving the pair more opportunity for violence.

At the end of his testimony on the first day, Robin says they would have assuredly committed a school shooting if they had not been arrested.

On day two of the trial, Schultz’s defense accused Robin of inflating Schultz’s involvement in the plot due to Robin accepting the plea deal. The defense also argued that Robin’s testimony was conflicting, since he had previously testified that he was not bullied at Rochester High. Robin claimed he downplayed the bullying out of embarrassment. Take that for what you will.

Schultz’s defense tried arguing that the pair was not serious about committing a school shooting. Ah yes, the old tried and true ‘it was a joke’ defense. Then again, with all the evidence against Schultz, that may have been their only tactic to avoid a maximum sentence.

Cell phone videos of Robin and Schultz were also shown, where the pair discussed the planned shooting.

In a video, one asked if they were, “Ready for Columbine?”

And the other said, “We’re gonna blow some heads off.”

On the third and final day of the trial, Schultz took the stand and tried to explain away Robin’s testimony. Schultz testified that he had ADHD as a kid, he doesn’t know how to sign his own name, and has no ID or bank account. The writing on his bedroom wall seems legible and coherent enough, so I have to wonder why he can’t supposedly sign his name.

Schultz also claimed that he was bullied in school for being poor, skinny, and having long hair. However, he testified that he never attended Rochester High School. He also admitted to a long history of drug abuse going back to when he was 13, culminating with him using heroin and meth prior to his arrest. Schultz testified that he would sell stolen items at a pawn shop for drug money and while there, Robin encouraged him to buy a gun. In further testimony, Schultz said the helium tank was used to get high and was not intended to be used for a bomb. Schultz admitted to having an obsession with Columbine but regretted his tattoo of a shotgun with the phrase ‘peek-a-boo’ above it. This was a phrase Eric Harris was said to have used before killing Cassie Bernall. Robin was said to have paid for both his and Schulz’s tattoos. So, in essence, Schultz’s testimony consisted of ‘I did a lot of drugs, and I wasn’t serious’.

The next day, the jury started deliberations, but eight hours into the process, Schultz entered a guilty plea. Schultz pleaded guilty to the charge of conspiracy to commit murder. In exchange for the plea, prosecutors dropped the charges of intimidation and possession of methamphetamine. He is set to be sentenced on March 7th where he could be sentenced to 10 to 30 years. However, it’s possible he could receive no jail time at all and be sentenced to probation instead.

In my opinion, it seems that both Robin and Schultz were equally culpable in the plot, with neither of them asserting themselves as the ringleader. With that said, in a just world, Schultz should receive as much prison time as Robin. Some people may not see their crimes as a big deal, since no actual shooting took place. But these would be the same people who would ask why nothing was done if they ran roughshod through a high school.

Lastly, many people seem to think that people having Columbine obsessions is a recent phenomenon that only affects Gen Z. I can assure you it’s not. It’s been happening since the day after Columbine happened and has been the root cause of multiple school shootings. All of which has been perpetuated by a myth that the Columbine shooters were bullied, when there’s no evidence to indicate they were.


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