Lawyer calls Boardman 18-year-old accused of threats ‘good kid with no record’

Local News

Justin Olsen's father said a binder filled with articles on school shootings wasn't his son's -- it was his because he was researching how to prevent school shootings

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A federal magistrate ruled a Boardman 18-year-old accused of making threats online will stay in jail.

Youngstown Federal Magistrate George Limbert said Justin Olsen “poses a serious risk of danger to the safety of the community if he is released.”

He is charged with threatening to assault a federal law enforcement officer. He was arrested August 7 at his father’s home on Oakridge Drive.

In court Friday, a Youngstown-based FBI agent testified about Justin’s social media posts under the username “ArmyOfChrist.”

The agent said the posts talked about bombing Planned Parenthoods and “shooting every federal agent on sight [sic].”

When asked about the posts, Justin told agents they were a joke.

Prosecutor Yasmine Makridis said, “Nothing about this is funny and the fact that the defendant thinks it’s funny is disconcerting.”

Justin’s lawyer, Atty. Jerry Ingram, argued he is a good kid with no past record.

He had both of Justin’s parents testify.

The father, Eric Olsen, said the 26 guns found in the house were his. He said he is a competitive shooter and he taught his son about guns, even taking him to the shooting range.

He said the guns were stored in a gun safe and Justin had no access to them. However, the magistrate said a loaded .9mm glock was lying on a shelf in the family room when investigators searched the home.

Investigators said of the over 10,000 rounds of ammunition in that house, some of it was found lying on the stairs.

He also said it was his machete investigators found in the trunk of Justin’s car. The father said he put it there years ago to clear brush leading to a deer stand.

Eric Olsen said a binder filled with articles on school shootings was his, too, for research he was doing to prevent school shootings in Howland.

He said he knew about parts of his son’s political ideology, but didn’t know about the social media posts.

The mother, Melanie Olsen, testified her son had a 3.8 GPA, was Boardman’s number one tennis player and was never in a fight or had discipline problems in high school.

She said there were no guns in her house on Presidential Court, which police also searched. She said she did not believe in guns.

She said Justin had been argumentative lately. She knew some things about his ideology, including that he opposed abortion, but she didn’t know about his social media posts either.

She was concerned his “anti-social views would not work well for him in the world.”

She said she is a mental health counselor and insisted her son was not mentally ill.

Attorney Ingram asked Justin be released to the custody of his mother, wear a monitor, have no access to computers and be subject to random inspections.

In the end, the magistrate rejected that and decided to keep Justin Olsen in jail.

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