Church waives preliminary hearing in Priestley Elementary threat case
MILTON - The man who threatened his ex-girlfriend and said he would do "worse than what happened in Connecticut" at Priestley Elementary School near Northumberland waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday morning.
The bail for Jeremy M. Church, meanwhile, was increased slightly by Senior Magisterial District Judge Richard Cashman because of additional charges that were filed last week, and a pre-trial motion was scheduled for 1:15 p.m. March 1 at the
Northumberland County Courthouse.
Valerie Eisenhuth, of Northumberland, who Church threatened to kill during the Dec. 20 incident, was present at Cashman's office for the hearing. She and members of the media learned that Church waived while waiting for the hearing to begin.
Eisenhuth was accompanied by her husband, her mother and an uncle. They declined comment.
Church, 37, who has a mailing address of 249 W. Market St., Middleburg, but who told police he has lived out of his car, was charged with 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 following a Dec. 20 incident in which he allegedly threatened Eisenhuth and said he was going to retrieve their child from the Priestley school and do "worse than what happened in Connecticut." The threat came just six days after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School during which Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 children and six staff before shooting himself.
Church was taken into custody without incident about one hour after making the threat, which he had made during a phone conversation with Eisenhuth.
No one was harmed, although Priestley Elementary School, in Point Township, and the four other buildings that make up the Shikellamy School District were locked down during the incident and police blocked off roads leading to Priestley.
Additional misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia were filed Dec. 27 against Church. With that, his bail was increased Wednesday from $125,000 to $126,000.
At a preliminary hearing, a judge hears testimony and decides whether enough evidence is presented to send the case to county court.