With a designated defense attorney and no current ability to post $ 2 million bail, the Georgia man has been charged with 22 counts of second degree felony for causing panic in county schools from Washington, Noble, Athens, Union, Scioto, Jackson and Franklin in Ohio and two counts relating to alleged threats against a high school in Pennsylvania, a jury trial is scheduled for August 20.
Nicholas John Frances Hall, 18, of 1385 Washington Road, Thomson, Ga., Appeared in person Thursday in Washington County Common Plea Court to plead not guilty to all counts.
The surety was a Hall already facing the initial arrest charges (one count of inciting panic and one count of terrorist threat) of Marietta Municipal Court Judge Janet Dyar Welch, who on May 11 cleared the warrant that led to Hall’s capture in Georgia by the McDuffie County Sheriff’s Office.
Washington County Attorney Nicole Coil pleaded at Thursday’s bail and arraignment hearing before Washington County Judge Mark Kerenyi to maintain the award amid the impact of four days of threats out of 16 schools.
“Nine schools in Washington County, six schools in other Ohio counties, and one school in Pennsylvania, all have been needlessly disrupted, inconvenienced and alarmed by the telephone bomb threats from Mr. Hall and many schools have been evacuated. Coil described.
The Minersville Area School District in Pennsylvania was the hall of the district attended before it moved to Georgia, Coil and Det. Robert McKee of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office confirmed after the hearing.
“Several employers and parents were inconvenienced by the evacuations and had to pick up their children from school”, Coil described the impact of threats against schools between May 6 and May 11. “It is also important to note that not only were people inconvenienced, but they were genuinely alarmed and traumatized by these bomb threats.
Hall was apprehended on May 11, indicted by a Washington County grand jury on May 19, and extradited to Ohio on Wednesday.
Coil said Hall traumatized local families, school staff and children by causing panic.
“The victim’s lawyer in my office visited one of the local elementary schools (and spoke) with the young children after Mr. Hall was apprehended to help allay the fears of the students who really and naturally very afraid to go back to school because of Mr. Hall’s actions ”, said Bobine. “Mr. Hall has no genuine or meaningful connection to this community. While all of this would have been done to get his girlfriend out of school, Mr. Hall is not from here and he has no connection. family or professional with this community.
Coil also pointed to alleged evidence of Hall’s threat planning.
“Mr. Hall’s laptop computer in his hometown of Minersville, Pa., Was searched and it was determined that he had a history of research involving school shootings,” she concluded before asking the court to keep Hall’s bond set at $ 2 million.
Washington County Assistant District Attorney David Silwani explained that any alleged threats against schools in different counties and two states will be prosecuted in the single case locally, rather than going to different jurisdictions.
“The law allows us to do that, when the victims are substantially similar or it is the same type of victim, then you can lay a charge where the crime took place” Silwani explained.
This consolidation could also avoid additional transportation and incarceration costs paid for by taxpayers’ money.
Hall, who was extradited to Ohio from Georgia on Wednesday, was appointed Noble County private attorney Jack Blakeslee after the entire Washington County Public Defender’s office had to refuse to represent Hall in the business due to conflict of interest.
After the hearing, Blakeslee confirmed that Hall’s indigence and inability to post the $ 2 million bail would induce a shorter window for a speedy trial, unless extensions potentially filed and granted at a later date.
Kerenyi explained at the hearing that each count, if Hall is found guilty and the charges are not reduced, could result in an indefinite prison sentence of eight to 12 years per charge.
He noted that if each charge were stacked with consecutive sentences and Hall’s behavior in prison was justified, he could be sentenced to a maximum of 176 to 264 years in prison.
“Each (chief) is liable to a fine of up to $ 15,000”, Kerenyi added. “If you add them all up, that makes $ 330,000.”
See past coverage of the developing story in The Times editions of May 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 19, 20 and June 3 below:
Click to read The Times coverage of the school threats case:
Situation of Waterford schools (May 7).
Threats of bombs and gunfire disrupt Wolf Creek Local and surrounding districts (May 8).
Security threats in Waterford and Fort Frye secondary schools (May 10).
Threats to Waterford, Fort Frye Secondary Schools and Belpre Primary School (May 10).
Threats extend to more schools (May 11).
Suspect arrested in southeastern Ohio threatens school (May 12).
School safety: place and context have an impact on the armed debate (May 19).
Georgian man indicted by bomb threat grand jury (May 20).
Case of threats to the school to be seen during local hearings (June 3).
Bond put in a school threats case (June 3).
Janelle Patterson can be reached at email@example.com.