Man accused of threatening Summit schools says he doesn’t own any guns
For The Aspen Times
The Glenwood Springs man arrested in Old Snowmass and accused of threatening Summit schools on social media told a judge Thursday that he doesn’t own any guns.
The day after he allegedly made threats on Summit Daily’s Instagram page, Charles Draughn, 26, appeared before Summit County Judge Edward Casias by video from the county jail for a bond advisement hearing.
Prosecutors have charged Draughn with felony menacing, misdemeanor menacing, and interfering with faculty, staff, and students of educational institutions. Casias set his bond at $100,000 at the time of his arrest and did not reduce it Thursday.
“The court found grave concern for the safety of different people — from faculty to administrators to staff of the schools within Summit County,” Casias said during the hearing.
Just before midnight Tuesday, police received a report of threats posted to the Summit Daily News Instagram page, according to an affidavit in support of an arrest warrant filed in the case. The posts by the account included statements like, “I know every name the teachers in summit they will know my name and my AR really nicely,” and “People WILL start dying in Summit County,” the affidavit states.
The threats prompted an increased police presence at Summit County schools and prompted schools in Garfield, Eagle, and Pitkin counties to go on secure lockout status Wednesday when police tracked Draughn to the Roaring Fork Valley. Summit, Eagle, Roaring Fork, Garfield Re-2, and Aspen schools opened with safety protocols in place while police were searching for the suspect. Those were lifted when he was arrested later in the morning in Old Snowmass without incident.
The threatening comments were made on a post about a recent Summit County School Board decision related to LGBTQ+ issues, and one threat took aim at a school administrator who was mentioned in the post by name.
But, Draughn said at the hearing Thursday he didn’t know anyone in Summit School District.
“I honestly don’t know the names of anyone,” he said.
Casias also noted Draughn’s lack of ties to the community, stating Draughn “doesn’t have any relationship dynamic to this community, which would prevent them from acting on such threats.”
The affidavit states that law enforcement was able to trace the IP address used to create the Instagram account to a Comcast account owned by Draughn.
Another of his social-media accounts included a photo of him holding a handgun, according to the affidavit. Investigators noted in the affidavit that he was on probation related to a third-degree assault case out of Clear Creek County at the time of his arrest and prohibited from possessing firearms.
In response to a question from Casias, Draughn said during the hearing that he does not own any guns. Jessica Dennis, a lawyer representing him, said that the picture of him with a handgun was from 2016 and was not taken in Colorado.
Dennis argued for a “pretty drastic reduction” in Draughn’s bond. She said Draughn has had steady, full-time employment for over a year, which he is afraid of losing because it could impact his housing situation, and his ability to pay child support for his son in another state.
Should Draughn post bond, he would be required to abide by the terms of a protection order. Those terms would include not owning or possessing a firearm, staying 100 yards away from all Summit School District property, and having no contact with victims. He would also have to wear a GPS monitor.
Draughn requested a preliminary hearing where the court will review the probable cause in his case. That hearing is scheduled for Feb. 6.
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