Suspect, 18, charged with threat

During a span of 11 days in September, an 18-year-old man allegedly tried to obtain explosives in an unspecified threat against Palisade High School, according to charging documents filed Thursday.

Robert D. Johnson, who School District 51 officials have said was enrolled at the school at the time of his arrest, was formally charged Thursday with solicitation to commit possession of an explosive or incendiary device, a class 5 felony. He also was charged with misdemeanor interference with school operations via a credible threat.

The alleged acts happened from Sept. 18 to Sept. 28, according to the charging documents.

District Judge Valerie Robison scheduled bond arguments for Johnson next Tuesday.

Johnson has been in custody at the Mesa County Jail on $100,000 bond since his arrest Sept. 28 by Mesa County Sheriff’s Department investigators at his family’s home in Grand Junction. Mesa County’s bond schedule for criminal matters, which are only written guidelines for local judges, calls for a bond of $3,000 for people accused of a class 5 felony.

Stacie Nelson-Colling, a public defender who spoke on Johnson’s behalf, asked to argue Johnson’s bond Thursday morning, but prosecutors indicated they were not prepared for arguments.

Colling told the judge that Johnson has one prior juvenile arrest, which is pending in the local court system. Johnson turned 18 on Sept. 3.

Johnson, handcuffed and dressed in a blue jail jumpsuit, smiled and waved at family assembled several rows behind the defense’s table in Robison’s courtroom Thursday.

An arrest affidavit in the case remains filed under seal.


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