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2nd bomb threat arrest made

May 12, 1999|By BRYN MICKLE

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A second Berkeley County Schools student has been implicated in the May 7 bomb threat that caused the evacuation of 25 schools across the county.

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A 17-year-old Hedgesville boy was charged Wednesday with being an accessory before the fact to falsely report a bomb threat, Martinsburg City Police Detective Kevin Miller said.

Also Wednesday, the Martinsburg High School senior charged with phoning in the bomb threat was in court, where he was declared "delinquent and incorrigible" by Berkeley County Circuit Court Judge Christopher Wilkes, said Berkeley County Assistant Prosecutor Gina Groh.

Wilkes ordered the 17-year-old Kearneysville boy to be sent to a youth home in Salem, W.Va., where he will undergo a 30-day diagnosis with medical and psychological tests, Groh said.

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The boy will then be back in court and a judge will determine what, if any, further action will be taken, Groh said.

The bomb threat charge will be removed from the boy's record when he turns 18, Groh said.

Groh said the prosecutor's office is waiting for further information from police before it determines how to proceed with the Hedgesville boy charged with helping the Kearneysville boy make the bomb threat.

Police believe the Hedgesville High School junior knew about the bomb threat before it was called in and stood next to the Kearneysville boy at a pay phone while he made the call to the Berkeley County Board of Education.

The second boy was identified by the Kearneysville boy and other Berkeley County students, Miller said.

The charge of being an accessory before the fact is treated the same as actually making the bomb threat, said Miller.

The Hedgesville boy was released to his parents pending further court action, Miller said.

Berkeley County Schools Superintendent Manny Arvon said he was "pleased" with the police investigation and that both students had been charged, school district attorney Laura Lilly said.

The May 7 bomb threat resulted in an early dismissal for about 13,000 students across the county. No explosives were found during a subsequent search of county school buildings.

The case remains under investigation, Miller said.

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