Jewish Community Center threat suspect asks for jail release over COVID-19 risks

Local News

The man was booked into the Mahoning County Jail on August 16, 2019, and has been there for 314 days

Police arrested a man in New Middletown Saturday that they said made a perceived threat toward a local Jewish Community Center.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) –  The New Middletown man charged with making threats to the Jewish Community Center last year has asked a federal court to release him.

In court filings Thursday, James Reardon asked the federal court to let him go over the risk of contracting COVID-19 while incarcerated.

Reardon was booked into the Mahoning County Jail on August 16, 2019, and has been there for 314 days.

Court documents say Reardon’s January 27 trial was continued at the request of his attorney, and a new date was set for April 21 but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

His April trial was then set for June and now again rescheduled for September.

Arguing for Reardon’s release, his attorney cited the sweeping suspension of rights to a speedy trial because of the pandemic, even though Reardon waived those rights prior to the virus outbreak but that he could not have anticipated the impact.

Reardon is asking to be released pending his September trial. He had asked to be released before the pandemic but was denied.

Reardon is facing telecommunications harassment and aggravated menacing charges. Investigators say he posted a video on July 11 on Instagram of a man shooting a semi-automatic rifle with sirens and screams in the background. The caption post read, “Police identified the Youngstown Jewish Family Community shooter as local white nationalist Seamus O’Reardon.”

The post tagged the Jewish Community Center of Youngstown.

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