Knoch High School student who made shooting threat ‘as a joke’ released on bond
A Knoch High School student charged with making online threats about shooting classmates has been released from jail.
According to court documents, Jason Bowen, 18, of Middlesex, was released from the Butler County jail on Tuesday after Butler County Judge Timothy McCune granted a motion to modify his bail from $100,000 cash to non-monetary with conditions.
Bowen is accused of posting a Snapchat video of him shooting a semi-automatic rifle with the caption “training for prom walk,” according to court documents. In a separate Instagram post last February, authorities say Bowen gave a thumbs-up to the 2012 shooting in Newtown, Conn., in which a gunman killed 20 children and seven adults before taking his own life.
He is accused of making terroristic threats, causing a catastrophe, possessing drug paraphernalia and a weapons offense.
The bail conditions are that Bowen will be placed on house arrested with electronic monitoring and reside at his parents’ home. No firearms are allowed in the house.
Bowen also must report to the probation office as directed; restrict travel only to school, medical and church services as permitted; and comply with mental health treatment as recommended and comply with any prescribed medication.
Court documents show Bowen underwent an evaluation by a psychologist and was evaluated by an unspecified health professional at the jail.
Bowen was ordered to stand trial on all charges after a preliminary hearing in January. His next court appearance is set for March 12.
Middlesex police officer Collin Lawson testified during the preliminary hearing that Bowen gave a written statement admitting to posting the Snapchat video. Bowen told police he didn’t intend to follow through with any kind of shooting.
Bowen’s lawyer, Pittsburgh-based David Shrager, previously said his client made an inappropriate joke, but never intended to follow through with any threat.
Russ Karl, assistant district attorney for Butler County, said during the preliminary hearing whether it was a joke or not, Bowen caused widespread panic within the school and community. The South Butler County School District was put on a lockdown as a result of the threat.
A message left for Shrager wasn’t immediately returned Wednesday evening.
Emily Balser is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Emily at 724-226-4680, email@example.com or via Twitter @emilybalser.
Emily Balser is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Emily at 412-871-2369, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .