Schools-threat suspect gets home detention, computer limits
A 16-year-old Edmonds boy was placed on electronic home detention on Wednesday and ordered not to have any unsupervised access to the Internet after allegedly posting an anonymous threat last month to shoot up Skyline High School in Sammamish. He is also accused of posting a similar threat in April against Meadowdale High School in Lynnwood.
Seattle Times staff reporter
King County Chief Juvenile Court Judge Helen Halpert ordered electronic home detention for a 16-year-old student at Edmonds-Woodway High School on Wednesday after finding probable cause that the boy posted an anonymous threat to shoot up Skyline High School in Sammamish last month.
Halpert warned the boy that if he used his "significant computer skills" to tamper with his ankle bracelet she would order him held in secure detention while his case is adjudicated. She also ordered him not to have any unsupervised access to the Internet.
After the threat was posted, the boy allegedly taunted Skyline students who posted messages on Facebook expressing concerns for their safety, King County Deputy Prosecutor Candice Duclos told Halpert. Duclos unsuccessfully sought to have the boy held in detention as a threat to the community.
Halpert said she was concerned after learning that the boy had posted a similar threat in April to shoot up Meadowdale High School in Lynnwood, but agreed to electronic home detention after the boy's attorney, Jeff Kradel, argued that there were no indications the teen, who does not have a criminal or violent history, had taken any steps to carry out an attack. While police seized computers and cellphones from the boy's Edmonds home, no weapons were found, Kradel said.
The boy's parents, stepparents and grandparents were also in court Wednesday. The teen, who has an injured left foot, was brought into court on crutches.
The boy "is a good kid; he has a good heart," his father said.
The Seattle Times does not name juvenile defendants unless they are charged as adults.
King County prosecutors are expected to file cyberbullying and harassment charges against the boy on Thursday.
According to the probable-cause statement outlining the police case against the boy, he used a "proxy server" in Sweden to post the threat against Skyline High School on 4chan, an anonymous imageboard, on Sept. 19. A proxy server erases a computer's IP address from posts.
A proxy server in Germany was used to post the April 12 threat against the Lynnwood school, the statement says.
Both schools were shut down the day after the threats were posted, according to the statement.
Even when Skyline reopened on Sept. 21, "only 56 percent of the student body showed up to school," it says.
More than 200 calls were made to 911 to report the threat against Skyline High School, including from people in Hawaii, Oregon, Florida, California and Washington, the statement says.
The boy — who was known by a school resource officer at Skyline to be "very good with computers and the Internet" — was confronted by a King County sheriff's detective about the threat on Sept. 20 but denied involvement, according to the statement. A former classmate who chatted with the boy on Facebook and Xbox Live told police he suspected the boy was behind the threats, it says.
A King County sheriff's detective noted in the probable-cause statement that there are similarities in both posts: The boy used a lowercase "i" instead of a capital "I" in referring to himself and stated he would continue to shoot until he was "taken down" or ran out of ammunition. He also stated he planned to kill himself, the statement says.
The 16-year-old was expelled from Skyline High School last November for possessing Gummi Bears candy laced with LSD, according to the statement. It appears he also attended Meadowdale High School at the time of the April threat, but the statement does not indicate when or why he transferred to Edmonds-Woodway High School.
Sara Jean Green: 206-515-5654 or email@example.com