Love sentenced to work crew for Battle Ground bomb threat

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

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An 18-year-old man with multiple disabilities was sentenced Friday in Clark County Superior Court to five days in jail that he's already served and 25 days on a work crew for writing a bomb threat on a boys' bathroom wall at Battle Ground High School.

The threat prompted an all-day evacuation of the campus Feb. 28.

Luke M. Love of Battle Ground pleaded guilty Aug. 1 to threats to bomb and felony harassment.

"All I want to do is to go back to school," Love told Judge Daniel Stahnke. "I didn't mean for any of this to happen. ... I just wasn't thinking it through."

Love struggles with multiple disabilities and mental health issues, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder and major depression, according to court documents.

His father told the judge that Love's actions were the result of his disabilities.

He said his son is at a 10- or 11-year-old level developmentally. The bomb threat was an impulse to get out of something he didn't want to do, the father said.

Battle Ground School District officials on Friday asked Stahnke not to prohibit Love from having contact with the high school, staff members or students because it would interfere with their federal obligation to provide him with special education services until age 21.

Linda Gellings, district director of business and risk management, said that imposing a no-contact order -- which is customary in felony cases -- would cause additional expense to the school district.

Due to the district's federal obligation to provide Love with special education services, a no-contact order would likely force the district to hire a tutor to serve him away from school grounds, said Denny Waters, the district's special education director.

Stahnke agreed to the request.

"It is absolutely unacceptable what you did," Stahnke said. The judge told him never to do it again.

Waters said his staff will come up with a plan to educate Love in the wake of the incident.

While a juvenile, Love was convicted of two counts of fourth-degree assault against his father in 2010 and 2011, according to court records.


Paris Achen: 360-735-4551; http://twitter.com/Col_Courts; paris.achen@columbian.com.