Teen gets probation in bomb hoax case

Caleb Sutphin

FRONT ROYAL — A Front Royal teen accused of bringing a hoax bomb device to Warren County High School in January pleaded guilty to a felony charge on Monday.

Caleb Daniel Sutphin, 18, planted a hoax bomb device made out of gears, a phone charger and an empty carbon dioxide cartridge, in a bathroom at Warren County High School, where he was a student. The fake bomb caused the school to be evacuated for what authorities at the time believed to be a serious threat.

Sutphin discussed plans to do something illegal on social media days prior to the incident, and confessed to his involvement when he was arrested, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Layton said during the hearing.

Sutphin’s conviction came under a plea agreement that included a suspended sentence of one year imprisonment, and credit for the 18 days he spent in jail. He will instead be required to complete one year of supervised probation.

Circuit Judge Clifford L. Athey Jr. expressed disappointment that there was no community service required in the plea agreement, and added that completion of community service will be at the probation officer’s discretion.

Athey added that if Sutphin violates his probation at all, the court will have no problem imposing some or all of the suspended sentence Sutphin was given.