Skyline student charged with making bomb threat

FRONT ROYAL – A 16-year-old Warren County student threatened to bring an explosive device to a high school, authorities said Thursday.

The Warren County Sheriff’s Office charged the teen Wednesday with making threats to bomb a building, a Class 5 felony under state code, according to information released by the agency. The defendant is charged as a juvenile.

Authorities didn’t find any explosive devices in a search of the school Wednesday afternoon, Maj. Kahle Magalis said Thursday. The student made the threat to bring the device to the school later in the week, Magalis said.

The student remains held at the Northwestern Regional Juvenile Detention Center in Winchester and he is scheduled to appear in Warren County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court for a bond hearing on March 2.

Skyline High School administrators learned of the threat and met with Deputy Paul Brenner at 2 p.m. Wednesday to discuss the matter. Brenner questioned the student and took him into custody under an emergency order for evaluation by mental health professionals, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

“Particularly when you’re dealing with juveniles that, you know, could potentially be troubled, we try to get them the help that they need (or) at least investigate that possibility,” Magalis said.

Investigator Jason Bates, with the sheriff’s office criminal investigations division, took the lead on the case. The juvenile was charged Wednesday evening, taken into custody and held at the detention center.

Deputies searched Skyline High School and, as a precaution, Warren County High School on Wednesday evening and found nothing out of the ordinary, authorities said. Authorities didn’t need to lock down or evacuate the school because students had already left for the day, leaving mostly employees in the facility at the time of the search, Magalis said.

The Sheriff’s Office asks anyone with more information about the most recent case to contact Bates at 540-635-7100 or 540-635-4128.

The case involving Skyline High School is not connected to a similar incident that involved a student late last month that resulted in authorities charging 18-year-old Caleb Sutphin with possessing a hoax bomb at Warren County High School, Magalis said. Authorities charged Sutphin with the Class 6 felony. Sutphin is being held at the Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail and is scheduled to appear in Warren County General District Court on March 1.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com