Carbondale teen charged for threat that closed Santa Fe Trail schools

A Carbondale teen appeared in Osage County District Court today, accused of making a threat that resulted in the closure of all schools in USD 434 on April 20, 2017.

Devin M. Culbertson, 15, of Carbondale, made his first appearance on a charge of aggravated criminal threat Thursday morning, accompanied by his parents, Benjamin and Michelle Culbertson.

The complaint filed by Osage County Attorney Brandon Jones alleges that Devin Culbertson communicated “a threat to commit violence, with the intent to place another in fear, or to cause the evacuation, lock down or disruption in regular ongoing activities of any building, place of assembly … or in reckless disregard to the risk of causing such fear or evacuation, lock down or disruption in regular ongoing activities …”

In a press release about the arrest of an unidentified student the evening of April 19, Osage County Sheriff Laurie Dunn said the threat that caused the closure of the school was made verbally.

“This was a verbal threat, no weapons or explosives were involved,” Dunn said in the release.

The sheriff reported her office was made aware of the threat around 6 p.m. that evening, followed by the arrest of a 15-year-old male student at 7 p.m. The sheriff said the entire school district closed April 20 due to the threat.

During today’s hearing, Osage County Magistrate Judge Taylor Wine told Culbertson that as a juvenile, state law required that he be represented by an attorney, giving him the option of hiring an attorney or having the court appoint one. Culbertson requested a court-appointed attorney, and the judge appointed attorney Jack Hobbs to represent him, and set the next hearing date for July 27.

Wine advised Culbertson the charge filed against him would be considered a severity level 5 person felony, with a penalty up to 36 months in prison if the crime had been committed by an adult.

See related story: USD 434 schools closed due to threat, 15-year-old student arrested

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