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Students arrested on terrorism charges to remain in state custody

Mark Newman, Ottumwa Courier, Iowa –

OTTUMWA -— It would probably be better all around if these youngsters remain in a state-supervised environment, according to a judge.

Judge William Owens made that decision this week about two Ottumwa High School students arrested on terrorism charges.

Fred Kirfman, 17, has been charged with conspiracy to commit terrorism. Troi Milstead, 15, has been charged with solicitation to commit terrorism.

The two are the latest of three children arrested in connection to alleged threats of violence directed toward students and teachers at Ottumwa High School. Authorities claim Milstead and Kirfman, along with Emily Six, 16, were attempting to recruit more “shooters” for an alleged plot.

Ottumwa’s Police Chief Jim Clark said while officers and the county attorney reviewed the case and investigation results, they found that the violations were consistent with violations of state code sections 706 and 708, which includes the term terrorism.

Clark and school district administrators have said in previous interviews with the Courier that they would not be willing to wait until there is an incident to begin investigating allegations of possible upcoming violence.

After their arrest, Milstead and Kirfman were taken into juvenile detention. On Jan. 25, the court allowed the two juveniles to leave the detention facility and instead be housed in a shelter through the Iowa Department of Human Services.

This week’s hearing determined that both would remain in the temporary legal custody of DHS.

“Based on the record presented there continues to be a serious risk that the juvenile, if released, may inflict serious bodily harm” on themselves or on another person, reads the judge’s decision.

Both teens are scheduled to begin an unnamed “assessment” as ordered by the court. Clark said recently that he believes the investigation to be mostly complete, and that “at this time” he does not expect further arrests.

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