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Two juveniles in court on bomb threats

July 14, 1999|By MARLO BARNHART

Two Washington County teenagers charged in separate bomb threats at their schools in the spring appeared in Washington County Juvenile Court Wednesday.

In one case, a 14-year-old boy who in April wrote an e-mail bomb threat that was intercepted by South Hagerstown High School officials admitted to one count of harassment.

Despite an effort by attorney Ed Kuczynski to have disposition Wednesday, Judge Frederick Wright insisted that there be a delay.

"Why shouldn't the Department of Juvenile Justice get all the information about this young man?" Wright asked. "In these cases, I don't think disposition should be quickly done."

The teenager was allowed to return home pending the gathering of information about the boy's school and home background.

Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Susan Lochbaum said the school discovered the April 28 e-mail, which had been sent to the boy's girlfriend. It said "our school is going to blow up at 2:30 today. I just got everyone up for it. HaHaHa," she said.

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The boy was identified as the sender and immediately admitted that was the case, Lochbaum said. He apologized at that time, saying it was a joke.

"I know the tenor of the community about these things but he's an exception," Kuczynski said about his client. "He was removed from South High, put in Alternative School and has been very remorseful."

Wright said he didn't doubt all that but said he believes the more that is known, the better for all.

In the other case, a 16-year-old Smithsburg High School student was allowed to remain at home while a background investigation is prepared.

That teenager admitted interfering with the orderly conduct of school for an April 23 incident at this school.

Lochbaum said Smithsburg Police were called to the school at 8:58 p.m. for a report of three people trespassing on the roof of the school.

One youth jumped off the roof and was apprehended by Washington County Sheriff's deputies. It was learned that boy had been taken out of school earlier that day because of talk about blowing up the school, Lochbaum said.

"Then he repeated it in front of teachers," Lochbaum said. The statement he made, Lochbaum said, was "Man, I should just blow up the school."

Lochbaum pointed out to Wright that both the teenager and his mother had failed to appear for several intake hearings with the Department of Juvenile Justice.

"You and your mother must cooperate with DJJ ... if not, DJJ will let me know, I will issue a warrant and you will be picked up," Wright said.

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