A teen whose bomb threat forced the evacuation of Bobby Ray Elementary on Thursday was committed to the Department of Youth Services.
Judge Larry Ross accepted a guilty plea from 15-year-old Logan Hollandsworth on Monday and ordered him to be held in state’s custody for an undetermined amount of time. He was charged with filing a false report, a class C felony.
“There is no telling how much trouble you caused,” said Ross. “Can you give any explanation about why you would do something so absolutely ridiculous as what you’ve done?”
Hollandsworth said, “I was trying to get some other kid in trouble because he was picking on me.”
According to family members, Hollandsworth made the call from home at about midnight and used *67 to block his number thinking the program would prevent anyone from tracing the call back to his home. After leaving a threat that a bomb would be detonated Thursday, he left the name of a teen he wanted to get in trouble.
As pointed out by prosecutors, this is not Hollandsworth’s first encounter with law enforcement. He has pled guilty to vandalism and burglary charges, both felonies. A prior domestic assault charge was dismissed.
“In all my years, I can’t think of one single act that was so disruptive just to get another kid in trouble,” said assistant district attorney Randal Gilliam. “Parents had to take off work. They were genuinely terrified. The single act caused terror in the community and untold expense.”
Prior to sentencing, pleas for leniency were made by Hollandsworth’s great aunt.
“He did not intend for any of that to happen,” said Faye Hawkins, who has custody of Hollandsworth. “He has never tried to hurt anyone. I hope his record impresses upon you that he needs help.”
Along with the felonies, Hollandsworth’s past record includes a long history of mental health issues with a diagnosis of opposition defiant disorder and attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder. At the time he made the bomb threat, he was on a behavioral contract at Warren County High School and had five stay-away orders between him and other students.
The defense argued the state should pursue all other reasonable alternatives before sending Hollandsworth away.
“I submit that we haven’t,” said Trenena Wilcher of the public defender’s office. “There are alternatives to assist him. To my knowledge, we have never used counseling in and out of the home.”
Wilcher called the bomb threat “an act of stupidity” by a teen who did not think through the consequences of his actions.
“This is his third felony,” she said. “If he is committed, he is likely to go to a place where he is going to be exposed to people who are much more hardened as a criminal than he is.”
In a letter submitted to the court by his counselor, Hollandsworth has been seen regularly since 2006.
“He has been in counseling for five years and it hasn’t done any good,” said Judge Ross. “If I send him home today, what will be different? Not that I think commitment is a wonderful thing, but I have an obligation to protect the community.”
The teen’s father, Lucky Hollandsworth, stood up in the audience and used himself as an example of why juvenile detention does not work.
“Your honor, I’m living proof that this won’t work,” the father said.
Lucky says he had behavior problems as a teen and he was committed. He did not get the help he needed while there and his legal problems followed him into adulthood. He fears his son’s fate will be similar.
In response to the statement, Ross pointed out Lucky as the main cause of the teen’s recent troubles.
“Probably at least three-fourths of this can be laid at your feet,” said Ross. “I hope it works. Maybe he will get out and want to do this for the rest of his life. I hope not.”
Hollandsworth will be remanded to the Department of Youth Services for an undetermined amount of time. He will have to complete the program offered before being released.