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Suspect in Windham Schools Threats Makes Court Appearance

Patty Wight
Cumberland County Assistant District Attorney Christine Thibeault talks to reporters.

The suspect who allegedly sent threatening emails to Windham Raymond schools early this week, prompting a three-day shutdown, appeared in Cumberland County juvenile court this afternoon.

Sixteen-year-old Justin Woodbury faces two counts of Class-C felony terrorizing.

Woodbury did not speak to the court during his appearance Thursday afternoon. A judge ordered him to remain in custody at Long Creek Youth Development Center until he is formally arraigned.

Woodbury is charged with two counts of Class-C felony terrorizing for allegedly sending threatening emails to the Windham Middle School principal and the RSU 14 superintendent Sunday evening.

Windham police initially charged Woodbury with eight counts of terrorizing - one for each school that was evacuated. Outside the courthouse after the hearing, Cumberland County Assistant District Attorney Christine Thibeault explained why she reduced the charges.

"We review the case for proof beyond a reasonable doubt and we always have the final say on what the charges are that are filed with the courts. It's not uncommon for us to change the charges," Thibeault said. "The police didn't act inappropriately. They didn't do anything wrong. It's just that my decision was to charge two, based on each of the threats made to each of the administrators."

Authorities believe that Woodbury is the sole author of the two emails, which were sent from different sources and were not identical. One referenced a weapon.

All RSU 14 schools closed Monday morning through Wednesday as a result. Thibeault says as a juvenile, Woodbury could face commitment to Long Creek Youth Development Center up to age 21.

"That's the maximum, and it could be anything less than that," she says. "It could be probation, it could be placement in a residnetial treatment facility. There are a number of options. It's quite open. And we, frankly, don't know enough about this young man right now to even guess at what we'll be asking the court to do."

Woodbury is a resident of Windham, but not a student in the RSU. The Portland Press Herald reports that he's a junior at Portland charter school Baxter Academy.

Woodbury's parents, who were in the court for the hearing, are still looking for an attorney to represent their son.