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Published: Thursday, 1/17/2013

Boy, 17, convicted in Otsego threat


BOWLING GREEN — A former Otsego High School student who told other students he would bring a gun to school and shoot people was reminded Wednesday that words have consequences.

The 17-year-old boy admitted to making the threats, including one on Dec. 14, the same day as the deadly school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Wood County Juvenile Judge David Woessner found the youth delinquent of a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct. The judge gave him credit for the 16 days he spent in the juvenile detention center after his arrest on Dec. 17, ordered him to remain on house arrest until he moves out of the area this weekend, and placed him on probation.

“You know what happened. You’re probably the only one sitting here who knows exactly was said and how it was said and things like that,” Judge Woessner told the teen. “But what the prosecutor said is worth listening to: Your words have consequences.”

Tim Atkins, chief assistant Wood County prosecutor in the juvenile division, said he agreed to amend the inducing panic charge to the less serious charge of disorderly conduct in part because he did not think he could prove the boy “knowingly” caused the harm that ensued.

After he made the statement in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings, Mr. Atkins said rumors began spreading through the school district, resulting in meetings with families and students.

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