Archive for Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tonganoxie youth placed on probation for taking explosive device to school

May 20, 2009


A former Tonganoxie Middle School student who in January took an explosive device to his school will serve 12 months on probation.

The sentence was handed down Wednesday in Leavenworth County District Court. The 12-year-old boy pled guilty in April to attempted criminal use of explosives, which is a felony.

The youth also must pay $34 in court costs and $25 in probation fees.

Todd Thompson, Leavenworth County attorney, said in April the plea was taken because the boy was 12 years old had no prior criminal history and is being home-schooled by his parents.

The boy was a sixth-grader when he took the device to school. Authorities described it as a cardboard BB wrapper that had been packed with BBs and the powder of two M-80s. It was equivalent to a third of a stick of dynamite.

According to law enforcement and school officials, the boy had no intent to harm anyone.


Janet Lowther 9 years ago

Contrary to police claims, two M-80's worth of flash powder is not anywhere close to the power of a third of a stick of dynamite.

Flash powder is not a high explosive, and while the volume might approach a third of the smallest standard sticks of dynamite, its explosive power is far, far less.

While the device this kid created was beyond doubt dangerous, it is nothing close to what the police have maintained.

Indeed, I would maintain that the charges leveled against him qualify as a case of prosecutorial abuse, blatantly intended to coerce a guilty plea, in return for a less unreasonable penalty.

imastinker 9 years ago

IIRC, He left it as a prank in the principal's office.

I don't know what to make of this. It was certianly stupid, but I did lots of stupid things too. I think the fact that he left it in the office instead of trying to ignite it says some about his intent.

I remember in junior high a kid bought what appeared to be a hand grenade to school. I still don't know if it was live. I never did tell anybody about it, and he didn't set it off either. It was stupid of him to bring it and stupid of me not to tell.....but we were kids. Luckily nobody got hurt.

Janet Lowther 9 years ago

I figure school suspension of a week or two would have been an adequate punishment.

The prosecutor bringing felony charges was over-the-top for a kid who not only didn't set the thing off, but didn't even talk about setting it off, much less threaten to do so.

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