2nd boy accused in bomb plot released

May 26, 1999|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF

The second of three Glen Burnie High School students accused in a bomb-making plot was released from a juvenile jail yesterday after an Anne Arundel County Circuit Court judge sided with the defense lawyer, who argued that the evidence didn't warrant keeping the boy in custody.

The parents of the 14-year-old wept and smiled as Judge Pamela L. North ordered the teen-ager to be placed on home detention, saying he could be only at school or at home, not out with friends and not at his job at a Burger King. She based the release in part on the fact that the youth's mother doesn't work and is available to watch over him, and in part on a report by juvenile authorities recommending his release.

He is the second youth released from the Waxter Children's Center in Laurel in the alleged plot. The first, age 15, was sent home Friday after prosecutors told a judge that the substance seized at his home, which officials suspected to be gunpowder, turned out to be flour and cornstarch. He was at school this week, and the youth released yesterday is expected to rejoin him there.

Both students are charged with possession of bomb components and conspiracy. A third boy, also 14, remains at Waxter. He is charged with making threats at school. The Sun does not publish the names of juveniles charged with crimes.

After one 14-year-old allegedly threatened another student, saying there was a hit list, students told administrators on April 28 of a rumored bomb plot at the school. The fatal shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., had occurred a week earlier.

Searches of the homes of the three youths turned up nothing at the home of the student charged with making threats, but officials said the other two students each had items that could have been used to make a bomb.

Assistant State's Attorney Michael Bergeson, who opposed yesterday's release, showed the judge photographs of items seized from the 14-year-old's room, including tape, wires, a tennis ball, charcoal powder and bomb-making instructions printed from an Internet site.

Smith argued that a chemical compound in the room came from a chemistry kit, that the student used coal for drawings, which were found elsewhere in the house, and that other things printed from sites, including music and Nintendo information, indicated that the boys were exploring the Internet.

Pub Date: 5/26/99

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