LIMA — The Lima teenager who allegedly threatened gun violence at Elida High School appeared in court for a motion hearing.
Tristan Ascura, 20, was arrested this past summer after four of his peers told police of alleged threats that Ascura made while playing an online game. He has since been charged with inducing panic, a second-degree felony, and making a terrorist threat, a third degree felony.
During his appearance in court Wednesday, Ascura’s defense attorneys, William Kluge and Patrick Farrell, motioned to reduce Ascura’s bond, currently set at $500,000.
Farrell argued Ascura’s comments were taken out of context and were the result of back and forth normally heard by some online gamers, and that the charges brought against him were derailing his future. As for the assault rifle found at Ascura’s home, Farrell said his family often visit gun ranges for recreational purposes.
Judge Terri Kohlreiser ruled against the bond reduction after considering Ascura’s school history, which included multiple disciplinary actions and complaints. Assistant Allen County Prosecuting Attorney Tony Miller said Ascura had been expelled from Elida High School in the past for making bomb threats.
Kohlreiser said that since such violent talk may be common online, the fact that four of Ascura’s peers were concerned enough by his comments to report them to police shows that Ascura’s words were especially alarming.
Ascura’s trial is currently set for May 13.
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.