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Girl Accused Of Writing Threats at Md. School

By David Snyder
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, April 21, 2005; Page B03

A 13-year-old girl wrote two notes containing death threats that appeared in recent weeks at Montgomery Village Middle School in Gaithersburg, Montgomery County police said yesterday.

Police said they are confident that the girl, a student at the school, did not plan to act on the notes, which threatened the lives of 23 students and faculty members at the school. She does not appear to have had any accomplices, police said.

"We believe that she acted alone," said police spokesman Derek Baliles.

The girl was charged yesterday with disturbing the activities at a school, making a false statement to a police officer and making a false statement to a school official, police said. Additional charges are possible, they said.

The Washington Post generally does not publish the names of juveniles charged in crimes.

According to police, two Montgomery Village students in March found a crumpled, handwritten note on a hallway floor that contained the names of 23 people, including students, teachers and administrators. The note threatened to kill all of the people on the list but did not make any specific threats against any single person on the list, said Lt. Eric Burnett, a police spokesman.

A second folded, handwritten note was discovered April 12 on another hallway floor at the 820-student school. It threatened to kill the two girls who told school officials about the first note.

Attorney Rene Sandler said her client -- the girl charged yesterday -- was one of the two girls who told police about the first note. She said the girl's name was one of the two names listed in the second note.

The handwriting on both notes was similar, police said. They obtained a search warrant for the girl's Gaithersburg residence, where they found evidence confirming that the girl was responsible for both notes, they said.

Sandler said the charges came as a surprise, because until yesterday "nobody ever indicated at any time during the investigation that she was anything but a victim."

Sandler declined to comment further until she learns more about the case.

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