Attorneys for Boardman teen accused of threats ask for release while case pending

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Justin Olsen has been in jail since his August arrest

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – The attorney for the Boardman teen accused of threatening federal law enforcement officers has asked that the decison to hold him without bond be overturned.

J. Gerald Ingram, attorney for Justin Olsen, 18, asked Judge Solomon Oliver, Jr. to reverse a decision by U.S. Magistrate Judge George Limbert to hold Olsen without bail after he was arraigned on a criminal complaint August 16 in U.S. Northern District Court in Youngstown.

Ingram writes in his motion that the court’s pretrial services recommended that Olsen be released into the custody of his mother on $20,000 unsecured bond, but Judge Limbert declined to uphold their recommendation.

Olsen was arrested by Boardman police and U.S. Marshals after a search warrant was served August 7 at the homes of his mother and father.

The warrant came after federal authorities alerted police that Olsen had posted threats to shoot federal law enforcement officers.

Authorities found several weapons at the home of Olsen’s father when they served the warrant and seized those weapons. They also found a large quantity of ammunition.

The case was transferred to federal court, where Olsen was arraigned on a criminal complaint before he had his detention hearing. During the hearing, Olsen’s mother testified she was concerned his “anti-social views would not work well for him in the world,” but she did not believe he is mentally ill.

Olsen’s father testified the guns at the home were his and he was a competitive shooter and his son had no access to them.

Judge Limbert still said Olsen “poses a serious risk of danger to the safety of the community if he is released.”

Olsen was indicted August 21 on counts of interstate communication threat and threatening to assault a federal law enforcement officer. He could face a total of 15 years in prison if convicted. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment.

Olsen had claimed he was “joking” when he made the statements in an online chat room.

In his motion, Ingram said Olsen’s father kept his guns in a gun safe that had motion sensors and Olsen’s father never received an alert that his son tried to break into the safe.

Ingram also wrote that there was no evidence at the detention hearing that Olsen had taken any steps to shoot at federal agents.

Ingram also wrote that Olsen had excellent grades in high school, participated in a community service program and was involved in sports and clubs in high school.

Body armor in the home belonged to Olsen’s father and emergency bags in the home also belonged to Olsen’s father and contained supplies in case of a natural disaster, Ingram wrote.

Ingram said Judge Limbert overlooked his client’s lack of criminal record and positive past during the detention hearing.

“The magistrate did not give sufficient weight to the defendant’s lack of a criminal record, the defendant’s lack of a history or reputation of violence and turbulence and his positive school and social history,” Ingram wrote.

Ingram added that Olsen’s mother, a mental health professional, had agreed to watch her son, take a leave of absence from her job if necessary and that Olsen would be subjected to random searches should he be released.

A hearing date for the motion has not been set yet.

Prosecutors have not yet filed a response to Ingram’s motion.

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