MCHS students cleared

Pair not guilty of making threats in April

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— Two Moffat County High School students have been cleared of misdemeanor charges stemming from allegations they made threats against other students and school staff in April.

The students' bench trial - a trial decided upon by a judge rather than a jury - was Tuesday.

Judge Michael O'Hara, chief judge of the 14th Judicial District Court, dismissed charges against one of the students after the prosecution presented its case, and later found the second student not guilty.

The names of the students, a 17 year old and a 15 year old, are not public record because of their age, court clerks said.

The students were suspended from school after an investigation began into the alleged threats.

MCHS principal Jane Harmon said she could not comment on if and when the two students would be allowed back in school.

"Due to the need to maintain confidentiality of student information, I cannot comment on the specific remedies taken to ensure a safe school environment in regard to two students who allegedly made threats toward other students and toward staff last spring," the principal wrote in a statement released to the Daily Press.

"However, it is imperative that the community note that all actions are taken to ensure the safety both of other students and of the two students involved in this issue."

The statement added, "A significant investigation was made into this incident, and, as with any issue of this nature, before a student is able to return to school, measures are taken to ensure safety of all students and staff."

The 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office released its own statement regarding the case. While disappointed in the court's ruling, prosecutors "respect the court's decision."

"We knew this would be a challenging case to present, but felt it important to do so because of the nature of the (alleged) threats made," the statement reads. "We must, in a post-Columbine world, take these kinds of threats very, very seriously. We did here, and that is why we brought this case."

• Joshua Roberts can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210, or jroberts@craigdailypress.com.

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