Friday, May 15, 2009

What's Next for Avery Trace Bombers

An August 20 trial has now been set for two Cookeville teenagers, charged in connection with making an explosive device that went off at Avery Trace Middle School earlier this month. The 14- and 15-year-old boys had been held for the past week in the county's juvenile detention center without bond, but at a hearing Thursday, Judge John Hudson set a $10,000 bond for each of the suspects -- and also set out some fairly restrictive bond conditions. The two boys are not to have contact with each other and they are to remain under house arrest until their next court appearance. That means they cannot leave their homes -- even if they stay on the property -- unless they have adult supervision. If they leave their property, they must remain, at all times, within arms reach of an adult or guardian. Court officials say the Department of Children's Services will be monitoring the children to make sure they're meeting the terms of their release. The judge also ordered mental evaluations for both to be conducted between now and their trial date in August. Restitution for the school system and the involvement of law enforcement agencies is also being looked at as the case proceeds. The mothers of the two boys have each hired attorneys to represent them. The teenagers are charged with reckless endangerment and possession of a prohibited weapon. They are accused of putting household-type chemicals into a two-liter soda bottle and causing a reaction that created a loud explosion in a trash can at Avery Trace. As it happens, that incident took place on the same day that a school resource officer at Cookeville High School found an old blasting cap near the football field at that school, and officials decided to evacuate both schools -- a total of some 3,000 students -- in order to ensure thier safety. Officials say they don't think the two cases are otherwise related.