Teen girl accused of making threat against Lakota school released

ajc.com

LIBERTY TWP. — A teenager charged with a felony for allegedly making a threat that closed a school in the Lakota district earlier this month has been released from juvenile detention.

The 13-year-old girl was charged with making terroristic threats, a third-degree felony, on Dec. 19. She was arraigned two days later by a magistrate and remanded back to the Butler County Juvenile Detention Center until a pretrial hearing on Tuesday, according to Rob Clevenger, juvenile court administrator.

The magistrate also ordered the probation department to do an investigation.

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After reviewing that investigation, the teen was released from juvenile detention and placed on home arrest.

The magistrate ordered her to stay away from Lakota School District unless permitted by Lakota School Administration. She is not permitted to have access to internet-based communication services of any kind and shall not have access to or possess any firearms or any other weapons of any kind, according to Clevenger.

The teen is scheduled to be back in court Jan. 24 for a pretrial hearing before Judge Kathleen Romans.

“We are looking into the facts,” said attorney David Washington, who is representing the teen. “Clearly, my client had no intention of causing any damage and harm. Hence we were able to have he released today and will continue to attempt to bring this matter to a favorable resolution,” he said Tuesday.

The girl admitted to making the threat to shoot up Liberty Junior School on social media to get out of school, according to Butler County Juvenile Court documents.

“She stated she sent the threat because she did not want to go to school,” Detective Mike Steele wrote on the court complaint.

Liberty Junior School on Dutchland Parkway in Liberty Twp. was closed after the threat was received via social media on the night of Dec. 19, according to the district and the Butler County Sheriff’s Office.

BCSO Capt. Rick Bucheit said unlike some of the copycat messages circulating via TikTok, this threat was more specific.

“This was different. It said, ‘I’m shooting up LJS tomorrow’ ... that was what was said last night. Then (they) had the nerve to say, ‘if not tomorrow, Tuesday,’” Bucheit said.

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