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2013-05-16

Kids still behaving badly in Bandera

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

In a Bandera-kids-behaving-badly update, two Bandera Middle School students have been charged with making false reports to a peace officer. The new charges are purportedly in addition to a slew of previous ones.

On April 11, the Bandera County Courier reported that an adult male had apparently forced two male teenagers into a vacant building, located behind Lowe's grocery store. According to one account, the man indicated to the students that he would commit suicide if they did not come with him.

Bandera Chief Deputy Scott MacNaughton, Deputy Michael Dyall of the Bandera County Sheriff's Office and the Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Eric Morgan responded to the call on April 4.

"Through intimidation, a homeless person then compelled the students to drink beer with him while in the vacant building," a press release from Bandera Independent School District noted.

At least that's what was thought at the time. Apparently, however, the boys failed to tell "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth," as first believed.

While interviewing the juveniles, City Marshal James "Charlie" Hicks felt their stories sounded too pat with little to no variances in the details. "It seemed to me that they had rehearsed their stories a little too well," Hicks said in an interview on Monday, May 13.

For this reason, the suspect, John Scott Hunter, 35, was not charged with kidnapping at the time of his arrest.

Later that month, one of the juveniles involved in the April 4 incident was implicated in an aggravated assault case. "The boy confessed to carrying an illegal weapon at school," Hicks said.

For the record, an aggravated assault case that arose from a stabbing incident on April 23 resulted in six juveniles facing the following:

• Two misdemeanor charges for disorderly conduct-fighting in public

• Two felony charges of unlawful carrying weapons on school grounds or school transportation

• One misdemeanor assault charge

• Two misdemeanor charges of unlawful carrying weapons

• Two felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charges.

While investigating the alleged aggravated assault, Hicks interviewed the youth who was also involved in the ostensible kidnapping. "There appeared to be deceptions in his story, so I questioned him about the earlier incident. At that point, he confessed to lying about the kidnapping," Hicks said. The youth also implicated his cohort.

"The boys were afraid they were going to get into trouble for being in the vacant building where they had no business," Hicks added. "So they made up the story."

As a result of the confession, charges of burglary of a building against Hunter were dropped. The suspect remains in the Bandera County Jail, however, charged with public intoxication and criminal trespassing because he entered the vacant building without authorization.

As for the two juveniles, charges of making a false report to a peace officer - as well as myriad others - have been filed for prosecution in juvenile probation.

"As far as we're concerned, all investigations involving these juveniles have been completed," Hicks said.