Bomb fallout: Father faces contempt charge

The father of a 16-year-old former Albemarle High student charged with plotting to blow up two high schools has been hit with a contempt of court charge for writing to the school system, Liesel Nowak reveals in today's Daily Progress (although the Progress misidentified the parent). The parent must appear before Judge Paul Peatross September 19.

The Progress loosened the logjam of secrecy in this teen's case when it filed a motion and Peatross agreed to open some court records. A July 11 order discloses that the defendant accepted a plea that defers disposition until his 18th birthday and that Peatross gagged all parties from talking about the proceedings.

The teen is now being home schooled. "The school issue is the only issue left after having his name splashed all over the Daily Progress and his school transcript saying he was expelled," says the boy's father. "Even with private came down to what other parents think."

"I'd have to see the letter," says civil rights attorney John Whitehead, who heads The Rutherford Institute. "The judge is trying to keep the lid on this very difficult case with motions, contradictions, and things that don't seem right. The judge is supposed to protect the juvenile, that's the whole point."

It's unclear how the judge got the letter. Is there any chance the parent's letter to the school system was turned over to the judge as payback for an unrelated but high-profile lawsuit the parent and son waged against the school system a few years ago?

"I have no clue," says Whitehead.