Bond reduced for LCHS threat suspect
SPOKANE, Wash. — The teenager accused of making threats against Lewis and Clark High School is back in his parent’s custody before trial. A judge reduced Ryan Lee’s bond from $1 million to $100,000 earlier this month. Lee is facing charges for two separate threats made in May 2018 and in January of this year.
Court documents indicate Lee’s family posted the bond last week. He will remain out of custody until trial with additional release conditions- his family’s home will not have access to the internet and they must keep passcodes on their cellular devices.
Lee was first arrested in June of last year for threats made on Instagram against LCHS and against two specific students in May. The threats took a major toll on student attendance while Spokane Police searched for a suspect. Investigators traced an IP address back to Lee’s home and arrested him.
Court documents say he initially denied making the threats, but later told police he sent them on his tablet. He said he did not intend to carry them out and had no means to.
Threats from the same Instagram username were made in November, but Lee is not charged in connection to those. At the time, police filed a search warrant to examine Lee’s tablet. The device had been in their custody since May but had not been searched. Court documents say Instagram files were found on the device, but there was no evidence that Lee used the tablet to access the Instagram username that made the threats or the email associated with that username.
In January, a different Instagram username made threats that mirrored the ones police say Lee made in May. Police traced an IP address back to Ryan Lee’s home. He was arrested again and charged with new counts in relation to the second threat. His bond was set at $1 million but later reduced to $100,000.
During his first appearance in January, Lee’s defense attorney, Derek Reid, maintained that IP addresses didn’t establish a strong enough connection and claimed that Lee’s confession might have been coerced.
He has since filed a Knapstad motion asking the court to dismiss the charges against his client on the grounds that the state has not provided enough evidence for a jury to convict a defendant. He says in the motion that while the IP addresses are a start, establishing location, they aren’t enough to prove that Lee himself sent the messages.
As of now, the device that sent the threats has not been located. Without it, Reid says the court would be making assumptions about who sent the threats and messages.
The prosecuting attorney dismissed those claims when they were made in court last month, and said that the court should dismiss the Knapstad motion as it was not filed in a timely manner.
Several devices were seized by police during the execution of the most recent search warrant. Results of searches on those devices have not been released.
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