WILKES-BARRE — A Dallas teen who threatened on Facebook last year to blow up the West Side Career and Technology Center avoided jail time during his sentencing Friday in county court.
Brandon Lee Abney, 20, of Janell Lane, was sentenced to two years in the county’s Intermediate Punishment Program (IPP) concurrent with one year of house arrest on one felony count of making terroristic threats, which stemmed from what police said was a menacing message he posted to a friend on May 17.
The message resulted in the evacuation and search of the school, located on Evans Street in Pringle.
According to the criminal complaint, several students advised Principal Richard Rava that a threatening post was circulating on Facebook.
Rava was shown the posting, which was sent to a female student before school, that asked, “Is school out yet?”
Shortly after the initial posting, police claim Abney replied, “It will be if we blow up the building. LOL.”
Police later found Abney at his home, where the teen at first claimed he was “just joking” before admitting he understood the gravity of the situation and why the post would alarm people.
Judge Tina Polachek Gartley ordered Abney to pay $669 in restitution to the Pringle Fire Department and write an apology letter to the school. The judge also indicated Abney’s community service could involve educational programs regarding the dangers of the Internet.
Abney was ordered to keep off social media.
Reach Joe Dolinsky at 570-991-6110 or on Twitter @JoeDolinskyTL