Ex-Springboro student guilty of panicking high school with threat

A former Springboro High School freshman was found guilty of a misdemeanor county of inducing panic at Springboro High School on Aug. 29 and faces sentencing in in Warren County Juvenile Court.

Judge Joe Kirby ruled the the boy, 15, of Clearcreek Twp., caused “serious public inconvenience or alarm by initiating a conversation and making a comment to another student during math class to wear red to school the next day so that he wouldn’t get shot. Defendant made this comment knowing it was false.”

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One boy testified that he heard the defendant say “something to the effect of ‘sniping from the band tower.’” Still the boys left the math class believing the threat was a “joke,” Kirby said in the decision issued Friday.

Another boy who heard about the alleged threat the next day in the locker room was concerned and told his mother and texted his coach, Ken Stuckey, also a school board member in Springboro. Stuckey called the police.

One friend told others later in the football locker room to wear red on Friday, Aug. 30, when the boy on trial said he planned a shooting, according to testimony during a trial on Oct. 4.

Any thoughts of wearing red were complicated when the coaches told the players to wear their blue jerseys.

During her final statement at trial, Assistant Warren County Prosecutor Megan Davenport pointed to multiple school shootings across the country, including the April 1999 mass shooting that resulted in the death of 12 students and a teacher at Columbine High School in Colorado.

RELATED: Springboro student accused of 2nd school threat to remain in detention

Defense lawyer John Smith questioned whether the prosecution had proven panic had been induced through the boy’s actions and the spread of the false information.

“He did something stupid, but that’s not a crime,” Smith said.

Kirby himself added disorderly conduct as a potential lesser charge at the conclusion of the one-day trial.

Last October, the defendant sent a Snapchat, showing him holding a firearm, to friend at lunch at Springboro Junior High School. A caption said, “Should I bring this to school?”

RELATED: Student in Springboro threat case has prior record

The boy admitted to sending the messages but “stated that he meant it as a joke and would never bring a gun to school,” records show.

On Dec. 3, he was convicted of attempting to make false alarms and ordered to do 25 hours of community service.

“It didn’t help defendant’s cause any when you factor in the fact that defendant was just charged a year ago for making a school threat. That fact adds to the magnitude and the believability of it, and serious public inconvenience or alarm necessarily follows,” the judge added in last week’s decision.

In the current case, because there was no school evacuation, Kirby found the boy guilty of a misdemeanor inducing panic, following direction from the Twelfth District Court of Appeals.

As a result, the 15-year-old does not face any time in the state juvenile detention system.

Kirby said he would eventually seal and expunge the court record, if petitioned by the defendant.

The sentencing is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 7, at 8:30 a.m.

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