Grants Pass man found with gun at school to plead guilty

GRANTS PASS — An Oregon man authorities feared may have been plotting a sniper attack at a high school football game is scheduled to be back in court next week to change his plea.

Federal prosecutor Judith Harper says Raphael Amoroso will plead guilty to charges of being a marijuana user in possession of a gun and having a gun on school grounds.

The hearing is scheduled for Aug. 8 in U.S. District Court in Medford. Harper said Amoroso will be sentenced at a later date.

The 26-year-old self-employed handyman has been held without bail since October.

He was arrested after approaching a police officer outside Grants Pass High School hours after a football game. A search of his car revealed a loaded pistol, 200 rounds of rifle ammunition, binoculars, a camouflage jacket and a novel about a rogue federal agent who opens fire on a football game.

A week later, police searched the home Amoroso shared with his mother and found seven guns, mostly vintage military rifles, along with 2,200 rounds of ammunition, a bulletproof vest, a helmet, a sniper's camouflage suit, sniper training manuals and an Internet test titled, "What Kind of Terrorist are You?"

Defense attorney Larry R. Roloff did not return a telephone call for comment.

In denying bail last January, Judge Owen Panner said Amoroso had shown a pattern of escalating behavior since high school, when he wrote on a desk that he wanted to shoot teachers, and later shot at a jet boat on the Rogue River with a pellet rifle, injuring a passenger.

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