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Bond Set at $75,000 for School Bomb Plot Suspect in Alabama
Bond was set at $75,000 on Monday in Alabama for Russell County High School student Derek Shrout, 17, by Judge Albert Johnson, according to the Ledger-Enquirer. Shrout faces a felony charge of attempted assault after his arrest for reportedly planning to use homemade explosives to attack fellow students at the school in Seale.
Jeremy Armstrong, the lawyer for Shrout, said that he expected the suspect’s family to post bond by the end of Monday. Shrout was issued conditions from Judge Johnson should he be bonded out of jail. Those conditions include remaining at home, wearing a GPS locator bracelet on his ankle and refraining from contacting anyone at the school. He also must be watched by a parent when he is using the Internet.
The preliminary hearing for Shrout has been scheduled for February 12 at 9 a.m. When sheriff’s deputies escorted Shrout to the courtroom his ankles and hands were shackled. A plea of not guilty was entered on behalf of Shrout by Armstrong. Shrout did not issue a comment during the hearing.
No one from Shrout’s family issued comment following the hearing and Armstrong said the case is overreaction following the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
A search of Shrout’s home on Friday discovered dozens of small tobacco cans and two large cans, all of them with holes drilled into them and holding pellets, according to Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor. Taylor noted that other material needed to finish the bombs, black powder, butane and fuses, were not discovered. Taylor did say that the devices were “a step or two away from being ready to explode.”
Taylor said that Shrout described the bombs in a journal and if they were completed, they would have exploded.
“It would have been serious,” Taylor said. “The system worked and thank God, it did. We avoided a very bad situation.”
All of this was avoided because a teacher discovered a journal left behind in her classroom. When she looked through it for a name, she read plans for what appeared to be a terrorist attack. Taylor noted that Shrout “obviously put a lot of thought into the plan” and six students and one teacher were named in the plan.
“The teacher could have just discarded the journal but didn’t,” Taylor said.
The journal was submitted to an administrator who took it to School Resource Officer Tommy Morrison, one of Taylor’s deputies. Shrout was brought in to be questioned, which is when he said the writing in the journal was fictional. Shrout’s parents permitted the search of the home, which is when bomb materials were discovered.
Shrout has allegedly admitted to being a white supremacist, according to police.
“He has a lot of pent up anger toward blacks,” Taylor said.