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Girl gets probation for bomb threat

August 05, 1999|By JULIE E. GREENE

A Hancock girl was sentenced Wednesday to an indefinite period of supervised probation for threatening to blow up her school bus in April.

The 13-year-old girl, a student at the Alternative School at South Hagerstown High School, acted indifferent when Washington County Circuit Court Judge John H. McDowell asked her if she had anything to say on her behalf.

"No," the girl said, later shrugging her shoulders when McDowell asked her how she felt about the possibility she could be removed from her home. The girl chose not to have a lawyer.

McDowell ordered the girl to stay away from her bus driver, Carol Hockenberry, even if she had to find alternate transportation to school.

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Hockenberry had testified that the girl and a boy both threatened to blow up the bus as it approached South High on April 30. Earlier during the bus ride Hockenberry had taken the keys of the boy, who was being disruptive.

The boy, who was found delinquent in the incident in June, had testified that the girl made the threat and that he agreed.

Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Susan Lochbaum said Hockenberry received an alleged threat from the girl and her father since April 30, but no charges were filed.

"I just don't see the respondent taking any responsibility or having any remorse for this," Lochbaum told McDowell.

McDowell told the girl she might not like the bus driver, or many other people, but that doesn't justify breaking the law.

"It's time for you to take responsibility for your own actions," McDowell told the teenager.

McDowell sentenced her to 40 hours of community service, and ordered her to attend school, not have any unexcused absences from school, and not to have any behavioral problems or additional delinquent acts.

He said the girl and her mother must seek counseling.

Also, the girl must successfully complete a program that teaches people to respect the rights of others, Lochbaum said.

Lochbaum said "indefinite" could mean the girl would be on supervised probation until she turns 21.

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