Threat suspect’s bond stays at $100K

Attorney wanted it reduced, says no steps taken toward attack on school

Mesa County District Court Judge Valerie Robison on Thursday denied a bond reduction for an 18-year-old man accused of making threats against Palisade High School.

Michelle Devlin, an attorney for Robert Dell Johnson, argued there was no evidence that her client had taken any significant steps to blow up the school and that his bond was set high only because “Columbine” was brought up.

Johnson’s bond remains at $100,000, which Devlin said is oppressive for the class 5 felony charge against her client, solicitation to possess an explosive or an incendiary device. Bond schedule for a class 5 felony is $3,000.

Robison said Thursday she is concerned Johnson had a juvenile summons to appear in court before he was arrested on the felony charge Sept. 29. She said the bond schedule of $3,000 is not appropriate in Johnson’s case.

Johnson does not have an adult criminal record and has lived in Mesa County for five years, Devlin said. She said her client would remain in jail given the bond amount.

According to an arrest affidavit, Johnson asked other students to help him obtain explosives because he wanted to go “Columbine” on Palisade High School. Johnson admitted to making statements that he wanted to blow up Palisade and shoot people in the school and “talked about going out in a blaze of glory like Columbine High School,” according to an arrest affidavit.

Police did not find any evidence of a written plot, explosives or guns in Johnson’s possession, the affidavit said.

Littleton’s Columbine High School was the site of a 1999 massacre in which two student gunmen killed a dozen students and a teacher and wounded 23 others before killing themselves.


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