A white Georgia teen has pleaded guilty to one count of attempted murder after she planned to kill churchoers in Gainsville, Georgia –– located about an hour north of Atlanta.
In the fall of 2019, then 16-year-old Caitlyn Pye meticulously planned a killing spree at a local Black church. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported the plot was uncovered after a classmate reported Pye’s notebook with the plan to school resource officers.
The notebook in question contained logistics and provided evidence that Pye had visited Bethel African Methodist Episcoal Church at least two times and started a collection of knives.
Pye's actions are eerily similar to those of Dylan Roof, who carried out the tragic assassination of nine churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina in 2015. They also add to a long history of violence against Black churches in America.
“Our investigation indicated the church was targeted by the juvenile based on the racial demographic of the church members,” Gainesville police Chief Jay Parrish stated at the time of Pye's arrest.
The African Methodist Episcopal Church is the first independent Protestant denomination founded by Black people.
According to Hall County court records, a plea deal was negotiated for Pye and she was sentenced on Thursday (October 22) to a juvenile justice facility until she turns 21, which will be followed by ten years of probation.
Following the sentencing, Pye publicly apologized, telling the judge, “I am very sorry,” adding, “I want to let you know it was a mistake,” per Atlanta’s WSB-TV Channel 2.
In addition to her sentence, Pye is banned from any AME churches in Georgia and prohibited from contacting any of the members of Bethel Church.
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