LACON — A rural Varna man who allegedly threatened to “kill them all” in the Midland School District is free on bond and awaiting a further court date in late March.
David L. Oser, 47, appeared briefly in Marshall County Circuit Court on Tuesday morning with public defender Patrick Murphy after the required $25,000 cash bail was posted over the weekend.
Oser remains under an order that he “not enter any Midland School property,” according to court documents.
Oser was arrested Friday on a charge of threatening a school building or person in a telephone call Thursday to Midland High School Principal Jeremy Gauwitz. He “knowingly transmitted threats to the principal … via telephone that he was going to kill them all, bury Midland, and make national news,” the Class 4 felony charge filed by Marshall County State’s Attorney Paul Bauer alleges.
Oser had understood his bond condition to be not going within a half-mile of any school, Murphy told Circuit Judge Stephen Kouri on Tuesday. Murphy asked him to clarify whether that would result in barring Oser from passing a school on Illinois Route 17.
Both Midland’s high school in rural Varna and middle school outside Sparland are located along Route 17, while the elementary school in central Lacon is just a block from the state highway. Oser lives in the Lake Wildwood subdivision, which is about two miles north of the high school.
“I guess I’m not going to prohibit you from briefly passing the school on Route 17,” but stopping or slowing down will not be allowed, Kouri replied.
Authorities have not divulged many details of the incident, but Bauer said last week that Oser has several children in the district and was unhappy about the way a situation with one of them was being handled.
District Superintendent Bill Wrenn said that a student was “disciplined in connection with an incident” but would not elaborate or identify the student. Student disciplinary issues are generally confidential as a matter of state law.
Oser was scheduled for a preliminary hearing March 26. Murphy said the defendant had mentioned the possibility of hiring a private attorney but noted that he would remain on the case unless and until that happens.
The charge is a Class 3 felony, with penalties ranging from probation to three years in prison.
Gary L. Smith can be reached at (800) 516-0389 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Glsmithx.