Judge orders boy, 14, to remain in custody in school threat case: Here’s why

Warren County Judge Joe Kirby ordered a 14-year-old Hamilton Twp. boy accused of inducing panic, making false alarms and intimidation of a witness in a school threat case at Little Miami High School in the days following the fatal school shooting in Parkland, Fla. to remain in custody and undergo a mental health evaluation and submit to a polygraph before being released.

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The boy is accused of sending a Snapchat of him holding a realistic toy gun to a friend’s head that left other students worried he would bring a gun to school in the days following the fatal shooting of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. He has already admitted to the charges, but Kirby declined to decide the sentence or free the boy on Tuesday.

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This morning, Kirby said he was not ready to free the boy, who insisted the threats were just a joke.

"Maybe I'm out of touch, but I don't get your all's humor," Kirby said, also expressing concern that an unloaded handgun was found in the boy's nightstand after his mother told police all guns were secured in a safe.

The boy’s lawyer said he would agree to whatever the judge asked to convince him he would not follow through on the threat.

“He wants to do anything he can,” lawyer Kim Bui said.

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Kirby told the boy’s mother he was not swayed by her explanation that guns were a big part of the family of hunters and the boy was trained to properly handle firearms. She explained the home was in disarray after a recent move.

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“It was just because of the quick move,” she said. “He’s been around guns and stuff all his life.”

No hearing was scheduled, until a mental evaluation and $200 polygraph can be scheduled, according to court officials.

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Later today in the court in Lebanon, Kirby is to review the detention of a Lebanon High School boy held in another school threat case stemming from alleged acts within days of the fatal shooting

"We're dealing with an issue that is taking on a life of its own," Kirby said, noting the rising incidence of school threats, most of which result in no violence. "I'm going to take each one of them seriously."

Last week, Kirby flashed a newspaper headline reporting that more than 400 people had been shot in 200 school shootings before issuing the order to the boy, 17, of Turtlecreek Twp., who has been in detention about two weeks.

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