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added that there has been a marked change in Seiwell’s demeanor over the “past few weeks,” and asking that he be held in a correction facility for the time being.”
Atty. Ferris Webby, public defender, acted as a “Friend of the Court” on behalf of the accused. Atty. Webby appealed to Judge Swank for bail for the youth, “This is an arraignment. He is not convicted yet. Bail is to be sure that he shows up for court. He is a resident of Luzerne County for his whole life. So I would ask the Court to consider a reasonable bail for a Felony 3 crime with an 18 year-old kid…who is living in Luzerne County with his mom.”
A ‘straight’ bail of $25,000 was imposed by Judge Swank. In addition, conditions were set that the defendant not set foot on the large Crestwood School campus. Based on his attempt to intimidate a student who was questioned during the investigation, Seiwell may not make contact with any students.
As the investigation started after the April 18 “Bomb in the School” message was found at the high school, the Wright Township police relied on several assets, according to Chief Royce Engler. In addition to the interviews conducted by Sgt. Rozitski and Ptlm. Macko, Engler credited the School Resource Officer program. He said that having a police presence in the school assisted in the gathering information leading to Seiwell’s arrest.
Two more threats were received: on May 8 a bomb threat was written in a middle school bathroom and on May 9th a ricin poison threat was found in the high school. Chief Engler noted that the school’s policies were followed in the response to the false threats. The interviews narrowed the
suspect list, and when the suspect was approached by authorities Seiwell defiantly asked, “Where have you guys been? I’ve been waiting for you.” The court documents also show that the defendant was in study hall at the time that each threat was written.
When questioned Seiwell accused another student of the crimes, claiming he is in the ‘underground’ at the school and will report back to the officers. A distinctive writing style contributed to the identification of the defendant.
After the arraignment, Seiwell posted bail and was released. The Preliminary Hearing is set May 22.