A Danvers teenager has been charged with writing a threatening message on a boy's room stall at Manchester Essex Regional High School just days after the massacre in Newtown, Conn. last month.
Gabriel Lambert, 17, of 86 Collins St., Danvers, a student at the Manchester school, was arraigned Thursday afternoon on charges of threats, vandalism and disturbing a school, and is being released from custody today on conditions that he remain confined to his home and wear a GPS monitoring bracelet.
The message "Everyone dies 12/19/12. No Mercy," and a second one, "Don't obey their policies," were found in a second floor bathroom on the morning of Dec. 18, and were reported by Lambert himself, who denied writing them.
The discovery led to a sweep of the school later that day, after the building was closed early, at around 3 p.m.
A letter was also sent to parents, and the following day, 125 students stayed home from school, some three times the typical absentee rate at the 486-student school.
Police and school officials used surveillance video that showed Lambert visiting various locations in the school, including the boys' bathroom, for more than an hour on the morning of the 18th, and then signing in at the principal's office as "tardy," and handwriting samples, some of them taken from schoolwork and tests, to identify Lambert, who was questioned by school officials in the presence of his parents.
Lambert, who had turned 17 just 10 days before the incident, denied any involvement and has pleaded not guilty to the charges. In Massachusetts, a 17-year-old is no longer considered a juvenile.
Salem District Court Judge Matthew Machera on Thursday ordered Lambert to stay away from the school and remain confined to his home, monitored by a GPS bracelet that is scheduled to be put on him today.
He has also been ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation.
For more on this story, see tomorrow's Salem News.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at email@example.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.