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Published: Friday, 9/19/2008

3 Bedford teens facing weapons charges


TEMPERANCE A trio of 2008 Bedford High School graduates have been charged with possession of dangerous weapons after being accused of making Molotov cocktails and exploding them in August outside Monroe Road Elementary School, authorities said.

Stephen Brown, Jacob Henry, and Andrew Backus, who are all 18 years old and attending college, have agreed to appear Oct. 4 in Monroe County District Court for arraignment.

The charges were authorized last week by the county prosecutor s office and filed Wednesday in District Court.

According to sheriff s office reports, the teens admitted exploding Molotov cocktails in a rear parking lot at the elementary school in the late hours of Aug. 10. One of the building s windows was broken.

Investigators linked the teenagers to the incident after Mr. Brown, of 3530 Deepwood Lane, Lambertville, was pulled over for a routine traffic violation by a sheriff s deputy.

During the stop, the officer noticed Drano bombs inside the teenager s vehicle.

Several days later, Mr. Brown appeared for an interview and confessed his involvement in the vandalism, authorities said.

While Mr. Brown was being questioned, Mr. Henry, of 8106 Bonnie Glen Rd., Lambertville, and Mr. Backus, of 2134 Stoneybrook Lane, Temperance, came forward and admitted participating, the report said.

Jack Simms, a county assistant prosecutor, said the dangerous weapons charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $2,500 fine.

Jon White, superintendent of Bedford Local Schools, said that while the explosions didn t cause any real damage to school property, the act itself was disappointing. It is disappointing anytime when someone chooses to vandalize a building. The fact that it was done by three former students adds to that disappointment, he said.

We are very proud of our community and schools. It is hard to understand why anyone would want to knowingly and maliciously deface them.

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