Wednesday, May 22, 2013
A 14-year-old boy accused of threatening fellow students with a loaded gun last week at Messalonskee Middle School is facing felony-level charges.
A petition filed by District Attorney Evert Fowle in juvenile court charges the boy with two counts of terrorizing and one count each of reckless conduct, theft by unauthorized taking and carrying a concealed weapon.
The filing also made public the boy's name, but the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram only identifies juveniles charged with more serious crimes.
The boy -- who is being held at the Mountain View Youth Development Center in Charleston pending an April 14 court hearing -- is accused of stealing a gun from his grandfather on March 5 and taking it to the Oakland school that day to threaten three students.
''We think the threat was genuine,'' Fowle said on Wednesday. ''I don't think there's any doubt about that.''
The investigation is being conducted by Oakland police. Authorities earlier identified the weapon as a 9-mm handgun.
Fowle said the boy had previous contact with Oakland police, but Fowle declined to provide details.
He also said he does not anticipate asking the court to have the boy treated as an adult.
If found guilty, he could be held for an indeterminate period at the juvenile center, up to age 21, Fowle said.
James Morse, superintendent of the Messalonskee schools, said Wednesday he could not comment further about the case.
Morse previously said he would seek expulsion of the student arrested at the middle school last week.
The boy was apprehended the morning of March 5 by Principal Mark Hatch and school resource officer Dusty Woodside, shortly after someone told Hatch the boy had a gun.
The school was locked down for about 15 minutes during the incident, according to Oakland Police Chief Michael Tracy.