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Man's threats to blow up building don't get him jail

April 18, 2000|By MARLO BARNHART

Stephen Arthur Lowe, who is serving a five-year prison sentence for allowing his children to live in squalor, doesn't face more jail time for threatening to blow up a government building.

Lowe, now 51, was given probation before judgment last Thursday for threatening verbally to explode a destructive device in a building, specifically the Washington County Department of Social Services.

The sentencing occurred in Washington County District Court before retired Judge Darrow Glaser, according to court records.

The period of probation will be five years and will begin when Lowe is released from prison , according to court records.

On Jan. 4, Stephen Lowe was sentenced in Washington County Circuit Court after pleading guilty to two counts of contributing to dangerous conditions for his three children, found living in filth in an East Avenue home in November 1998.

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Stephen Lowe's wife, Patti Jane, was sentenced to six months in the local jail on the same two charges.

Threats made by Stephen Lowe in April and May and again in August 1999, to the Department of Social Services, the Washington County Courthouse and Circuit Judge Kennedy Boone were overheard by Washington County Sheriff's deputies.

Social Services, at 122-128 N. Potomac St., was the agency that had spearheaded the efforts to remove the three boys, now ages 10 to 14, from the home at 16 East Ave. and place them in foster care.

Additional charges alleging threats made against Boone and the courthouse were dismissed Thursday in exchange for the plea.

On Nov. 5, 1998, Social Services workers took the three boys into protective custody from the home where they were living in what police described as deplorable conditions.

Social Service caseworkers had made numerous attempts to make a home visit but the door was never answered, court records said.

Records indicated the children weren't in school and claims by the Lowes that they were being home schooled were found to be untrue.

Entering through an unlocked door, police found decaying remains of a dog in a bedroom next to the room in which the children slept, police said. Dog feces was found in every room.

In the kitchen, the refrigerator door was ajar and uncovered food inside was crawling with maggots, court records said.

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