Antrim teen indicted on two more felony charges in ConVal threat case

  • ConVal High School. (Benji Rosen/ Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Benji Rosen

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 3/25/2019 9:23:11 PM

An Antrim teenager accused of posting a social media threat that closed the ConVal School District in November has been indicted on two additional felony-level charges.

Anthony Wheeler, 19, was indicted on charges of reckless conduct and criminal threatening – both class-B felonies – by grand jurors at the Hillsborough Superior Court in Manchester on March 18, according to court documents.

Wheeler had previously been indicted on three class-B felony counts of criminal threatening in December.

“Those are two new charges based on the same act, they are alternative theories,” prosecuting attorney Amy H. Manchester said Monday evening.

Manchester declined to comment further as to why additional charges were being brought forward.

Antrim police arrested Wheeler and two minors after investigating a photo that had been posted to Wheeler’s Snapchat account on the evening of Nov. 6.

The photo features a male – identified in court documents by the initials M.B. – holding “two realistic-looking” firearms with the caption “Don’t go to school Wednesday.”

An affidavit on file with the court says all three involved admitted to taking the photo and posting it to Snapchat and to smoking marijuana the night the photo was taken and posted.

The post caused the ConVal School District to close all 11 schools in the district on Nov. 7.

Wheeler was held at the Hillsborough County House of Corrections in Manchester on preventive detention from Nov. 8 through Jan. 24. He was released on Jan. 24 on a $10,000 unsecured bond. Preventive detention is used when a judge determines there is evidence that a person charged in a criminal case would pose a danger to themselves or others in the community.

Assistant County Attorney Patrice Casian said during Wheeler’s bail hearing on Nov. 8 that the photo appeared to be emulating the Columbine shooting, as the subject of the photo was holding guns and wearing clothing similar to what Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were wearing and using when they killed 13 and wounded 24 on April 20, 1999 at Columbine High School.

The two others involved in the threat were also arrested on criminal threatening-related charges, according to police, but because they are minors their names were not released.

The new criminal threatening indictment alleges Wheeler threatened to commit a violent act “with the purpose to cause the evacuation of… ConVal Regional High School” by posting the photo to his Snapchat account.

The reckless conduct indictment alleges Wheeler “recklessly engaged in conduct which may place another in fear of serious bodily injury.”

Both felonies carry a penalty of three and a half to seven years in state prison and up to a $4,000 fine.

An indictment is not a ruling of guilt or innocence, but a ruling by a grand jury that there is enough evidence to bring the charges to trial.

A final pretrial and arraignment is scheduled to take  place April 24 in the Hillsborough County Suprior Court in Manchester. Jury selection is scheduled for May 6.

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

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