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December 17, 2012

Rifle found during search of home of Oklahoma teen who made threats

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A small-caliber rifle and notes about a possible attack on a northeast Oklahoma high school were found at the home of a teenager accused of plotting to shoot classmates and detonate bombs, police said Monday.

Sammie Eaglebear Chavez, 18, lived at home with his mother in Bartlesville, about 50 miles north of Tulsa. He was arrested early Friday morning and has been charged with a felony count of planning to perform an act of violence.

Investigators still are sifting through possible evidence recovered during Friday’s search to determine how serious the threat was, said Bartlesville Police Capt. Jay Hastings.

“Part of the factor is whether the person is capable of carrying out the threat. Do they have weapons? In this case, it’s just something he’s communicated, but then he’s also ... written some notes about it, so that makes it a little more serious,” Hastings said. He didn’t elaborate on what the notes said or who owned the rifle.

In a separate incident, a Guthrie High School student was questioned and suspended Monday, but not arrested, following a reported threat to a school assembly that the student made last week.

“It was a large-scale threat,” said Guthrie Police Chief Damon Devereaux, who declined to identify the student, who is a minor.

“In light of what happened in Connecticut and the Bartlesville deal, we cannot take anything too lightly,” Devereaux said, referring to Newtown, Conn., where a gunman shot and killed 20 children and six adults at an elementary school Friday.

In the Bartlesville case, Chavez remained jailed Monday on $1 million bail. Court records do not list an attorney for Chavez, and calls to a number for Chavez listed in court documents went to a recorded message saying the line wasn’t available. A court hearing is scheduled for Jan. 11.

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