Mentzer Posts Full $100K Bond

NEW CUMBERLAND – Mark Mentzer, accused of plotting to bomb Weir High School, posted his full $100,000 bond to get out of jail, according to the Hancock County Magistrates’ Office.

Mentzer, a 19-year-old senior at the school, was released on bond from the Northern Regional Jail on Friday, despite Circuit Judge Martin Gaughan’s decision earlier that afternoon to continue his bond at $100,000.

Mentzer is charged with felony counts of making terrorist threats, nighttime burglary, possessing explosive materials without a permit and prohibiting civil rights, as well as a misdemeanor count of disrupting school activities.

An official at the Northern Regional Jail on Friday told The Intelligencer that Mentzer posted $50,000 bond. However, magistrate assistant Omeka Petteway said Monday that he posted the full $100,000.

She said of that sum, $25,000 for the burglary charge was posted through justification of surety, which means a piece of property with no liens against it was put up to pay the amount. The remaining $75,000 bond on the other charges – $25,000 each for possessing explosive materials and prohibiting civil rights, $24,000 for making terrorist threats and $1,000 for disrupting school activities – was posted through professional surety, or a bail bondsman.

Mentzer’s next scheduled court appearance is Oct. 16 in magistrate court for a status hearing on the misdemeanor charge of disrupting school activities.

Magistrate Scott Hicks on Friday continued a preliminary hearing on the felony charges against Mentzer. Petteway said that hearing is set for 9 a.m. Nov. 30, also in magistrate court.

Josh Little, another 19-year-old Weir High senior, also is charged in the alleged bomb plot. Little, who remains in the Northern Regional Jail on $22,600 bond, faces a felony count of making terrorist threats and misdemeanor counts of disrupting school activities and disorderly conduct.

On Friday, Hicks also continued a preliminary hearing for Little. That hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. Oct. 14 in magistrate court.

Mentzer and Little were arrested in September after Weirton police traced threatening text messages sent to Weir High students back to Mentzer. A search of Mentzer’s 153 Clay St. home reportedly uncovered weapons, bomb-making materials, racist writings and a map of the high school. Police also found a note containing passages like “if you are reading this it is most likely I have died” and “if we do not stop whats happening we will have no more pride we will all be one giant mix of god knows what” in Mentzer’s pocket.

Mentzer’s attorney, Fred Risovich, argued during Friday’s bond reduction hearing that the weapons found were locked in a closet at the Mentzer home and that the “bomb making materials” were household items not intended for any threatening purpose.