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June 13, 2024

12-year-old who emailed bomb threats to Maryland schools knew state law would prevent charges

12-year-old who emailed bomb threats to Maryland schools knew state law would prevent charges

A 12-year-old responsible for emailing seven bomb threats to Maryland schools this month knew a state law would prevent authorities from bringing charges, police announced Wednesday.

In Maryland, children younger than 13 can be charged only with offenses that constitute a “crime of violence,” Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones said in a statement.

A police spokesperson confirmed the child knew no charges could be brought before speaking to detectives.

Detectives spoke with the suspect, who admitted emailing the threats to Montgomery Blair High School on Oct. 13, 16 and 17, as well as Monday and Tuesday, Jones said. The suspect also admitted being behind separate e-mailed bomb threats to Oak View Elementary School and Silver Spring International Middle School on Oct. 15.

The suspect was identified, Jones said, with assistance from the IT staff for the Montgomery County Public Schools.

“It is disheartening to accept that the individual responsible for disrupting the educational process and instilling fear in our community was well aware of the legal limitations surrounding their age,” Jones said. “They understood that they could not be charged under current Maryland statutes.”

Jones also called the threats “reckless and dangerous” and noted the “significant financial and operational burden” they had on his department.

“Dispatching officers and K-9 units to investigate these threats, especially when our resources are already stretched thin, diverted our personnel away from other pressing calls for service. This diversion of resources is unacceptable, and it jeopardizes the safety of our community,” he said.

Antonio Planas

Antonio Planas is a breaking news reporter for NBC News Digital. 

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