Prosecutors To Charge Student Accused Of Planting Bomb As Adult
BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – A 16-year-old student accused of bringing an explosive device to his Lafayette high school earlier this month will be charged as an adult.
A judge set bond for Andy DeBartalome at $100,000 on Friday. He faces five counts, including attempted murder, the use and possession of an explosive device and menacing.
Police say a teacher inside Centaurus High School noticed a suspicious package on May 13 in the morning and took it outside. After the school was cleared bomb squads moved in and authorities also did an extensive search of the campus.
Explosives specialists destroyed the device in a dirt field near the school but kept pieces of it for evidence. They said it was possible the pipe bomb could have been detonated remotely.
Prosecutors say other evidence was found at the DeBartalome’s home which indicated he might have had a larger plan in mind. They said the evidence showed DeBartalome has had a long term interest in explosive devices.
DeBartalome’s parents attended their son’s court hearing on Friday. His father is a professor at the University of Colorado and his mother is a businesswoman who was appointed by Gov. John Hickenlooper to attract international students to Colorado.
Court documents indicate there is a protection order in place for two teachers, a counselor and the assistant principal at Centaurus High School because of threats to them by DeBartalome.
Prosecutors were pressing to have bond set at a much higher amount of $750,000 but it was settled at $100,000.
If DeBartalome bonds out his parents say that because they are unable to monitor him around the clock he would be released to a wilderness release program in Utah. Employees with that program would pick him up in Colorado and take him to Utah for a program that would last between six and 10 weeks.
He would then be dropped off back with his parents.
DeBartalome is scheduled to be back in court on Aug. 1.
In an arrest affidavit the teen was investigated in February for potential bomb making by the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office.
His parents called deputies with concerns their son was making explosives in his room.
Deputies allegedly found “many electronic items taken apart, spare wires, empty bullet casings, rocket motors and fireworks” in the teen’s room.
One of DeBartalome’s friends told investigators the teen considered himself a “dormant terrorist” and had “anti-nationalistic views” and he was obsessed with terrorism and dreamed of giving up his citizenship and going overseas.
In the same arrest affidavit the teen’s mother told police her son wanted to go into counter-terrorism with the British government.
Editor’s note: CBS4 originally was not naming the suspect or showing his image but is doing so now that he faces charges as an adult.