Additional charges filed in school threat case
by Justin Strawser
POINT TOWNSHIP - Additional charges were filed Thursday against the man accused of threatening his ex-girlfriend and students and faculty at Priestley Elementary School.
Point Township Police Chief Joshua Van Kirk reported Jeremy Michael Church, 37, who has a mailing address of 249 W. Market St., Middleburg, but who has said he also lived out of his car, is facing charges of misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
After police took Church into custody an hour after the threats were made on Dec. 20, they executed a search warrant on Church's vehicle and discovered marijuana, drug paraphernalia and cash.
Police said Church caused the lockdown of all five buildings in the Shikellamy School District last week when he reportedly got into an argument over the telephone with Valerie Eisenhuth, the mother of his child. He threatened Eisenhuth's life and said he was going to retrieve their daughter from Priestley Elementary just outside Northumberland in Point Township and "do worse than what happened in Connecticut," according to police. He was referencing the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, where 20 young students and six staff were killed six days Dec. 14.
Church turned himself in to law enforcement officials roughly one hour after the incident was reported to 911 at 11:20 a.m. He said his comments were taken out of context.
All exterior and classroom doors in the school district were locked after the threat was reported to police. No students, faculty or staff were harmed, and there appeared to be no immediate threat.
A preliminary hearing original scheduled Wednesday morning was continued due to a family emergency of one of the alleged victims, Van Kirk said.
It was rescheduled to 9 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 2, before Senior Magisterial District Judge Richard Cashman of Milton.
Van Kirk said he expects the drug charges to be incorporated with the charges Church is already facing, which includes felony counts of terroristic threats to commit violence and terroristic threats to cause public inconvenience and a misdemeanor count of terroristic threats to commit violence.
At a preliminary hearing, a judge hears testimony and decides whether enough evidence is presented to send the case to county court.
Church remained incarcerated at Northumberland County Prison Wednesday in lieu of $125,000 bail.