An 11-year-old Springboro boy will remain on house arrest while awaiting a judge’s decision on how big a problem he created on May 2 by leaving a note in his school bathroom: “school shooting 1:05.”
The threat case came in the midst of a series of threats that prompted a school closing, evacuations and responses by police, fire and school officials in Springboro, Lebanon and Waynesvile, most within a two-week period.
The boy, 5 feet tall, weighing 100 pounds, with blue eyes and blonde hair, has already served 23 days in the Warren County Juvenile Detention Center.
On Monday, lawyers on both sides of the case presented evidence and questioned Diane Stacy, the elementary school principal who led the response to the incident, reported by a student who found the post-it note near the toilet paper dispenser in the boys’ bathroom about 30 minutes before 250 5th graders were to head to lunch.
“I was alarmed,” Stacy said during a trial in the juvenile court in Lebanon. “At that point, I did not know what was going to happen at 1:05.”
But the note’s salmon color helped teachers quickly identify the boy. He broke down and cried when confronted by Stacy. He said he got the idea from an active-shooter exercise earlier in the day and hoped to shorten his day at school, she said.
There was no evacuation or lockdown. As a precaution, the 5th graders were not allowed to go outside for recess and Stacy said she took steps to minimize the spread of the alarm within the school.
Judge Joe Kirby questioned Stacy about the number of people affected by the note.
Although the boy is unlikely to be sent to a state detention center in either case, Assistant County Prosecutor Andrew Nice wants the boy found guilty of the felony version of inducing panic in Ohio juvenile law.
Defense Attorney Charles H. Rittgers wants the boy found guilty of the misdemeanor version, lessening the punishment and any lingering impact.
Kirby ordered both sides to file arguments by July 29 and indicated he would review the case on Aug. 1, but it was unclear when a decision would be made in the case.
Several other cases are still pending, including the one case filed in adult court, allegedly stemming from the bomb threat that prompted evacuation and closing of Springboro High School.
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