Wednesday, December 6, 2006 No bail granted in Internet threat case Suspect faces gun charges By Gary V. Murray TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF [email protected] WORCESTER— A 23-year-old Shrewsbury man who was charged with possessing an assault rifle after allegedly posting threatening messages on an Internet chat board, was ordered held without bail yesterday. Darren P. Thompson, of 12 Whitehall Circle, Shrewsbury, was ordered held on $25,000 cash bail in a separate court appearance Monday in Westboro District Court oncharges of possession of a firearm or ammunition without a firearms identification card, possession of a large-capacity firearm and improper storage of a large-capacity firearm. State police assigned to the office of Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly said they seized an SKS 7.62 x 39 mm rifle, 22 rounds of ammunition and a nail-studded baseball bat from Mr. Thompson’s room after obtaining a search warrant for the home he shares with his parents. The search was prompted by an investigation into vague threats allegedly made by Mr. Thompson against “teeny-boppers” and “preps” on the Internet Movie Database Web site, www.imdb.com. Mr. Thompson’s lawyer, Gregory Casale, sought a bail reduction yesterday in Worcester Superior Court, asking Judge John S. McCann to lower his client’s bail to $5,000 cash. Mr. Casale downplayed the online messages allegedly posted by his client, describing the Internet as “a fantasy land” where “people say all sorts of things they never say in public.” The defense lawyer said any interest Mr. Thompson had in firearms and ammunition was related to a keen interest in hunting. He also said Mr. Thompson’s apparent immaturity might be related to a pituitary gland problem he had as a child and growth hormones that were prescribed for him to treat the condition. He said the 23-year-old had been seeing a counselor and the counselor reported no threats made by Mr. Thompson that would have required the therapist to alert authorities. Assistant Attorney General Laura M. Marlin told the judge she believed a minimum of $25,000 cash bail was necessary to ensure Mr. Thompson’s appearance in court. Ms. Marlin said Mr. Thompson’s more than 500 posted messages, dating back to 2004, had become “more and more hostile and threatening” of late, including one in which he allegedly reported “looking for preppy teeny-boppers to target. “He appears to carry a great deal of anger and hatred toward people who are fans of the young pop singers,” including Jesse McCartney, Ms. Marlin told the judge. She said police found a loose-leaf binder in Mr. Thompson’s room that included a “list of people to kill.” The names of his mother and brother were on the list. The assistant attorney general said Mr. Thompson told police he admired Eric Harris, one of two students involved in the 1999 Columbine High School massacre in Colorado, because he, too, was picked on as a child. Judge McCann said he was mindful that Mr. Thompson had no criminal record, but that the court also had to consider whether the suspect represented a potential “danger to society.” He said the allegations in the case are “terribly upsetting to me as a judge.” “I will not take the risk of mom and dad posting $25,000 cash bail,” Judge McCann said before ordering Mr. Thompson be held without bail. The action was taken “without prejudice” and the judge told Mr. Casale he could address the bail issue again if additional information became available.