Fred Pace, EDITOR
February 4, 2013
A Peytona man charged with making threats at Sherman Elementary School early last week has waived his right to a preliminary hearing today and his case will now be bound over to a Boone County Grand Jury, according to Boone County Prosecuting Attorney Keith Randolph.
Herman Pickens, 53, of Peytona, had his bond modified so that he could not possess a firearm while on bond and so he could not be present on any property owned by the Boone County Board of Education, Randolph said.
Pickens was arrested after deputies were made aware that Pickens had been in the school on previous occasions and made specific threats concerning a firearm, to the staff of the school.
Corporal B.G. Browning encountered Pickens inside the school and Pickens had a firearm holster on his belt where it was visible to students and staff.
Boone County Schools Superintendent John Hudson said Pickens did not have a gun inside of the school.
"No individual, to my knowledge, brought a gun inside of the school," Hudson explained. "He had a firearm holster that was empty."
Police said Pickens also had in his possession a folding knife, which is prohibited on school grounds.
However, in close proximity to the school and inside Pickens' vehicle, officers located a loaded .40 caliber semiautomatic handgun, according to the police report.
Also, on at least two prior occasions this month, Pickens brandished the empty holster to the staff and made threats of not leaving his gun in his vehicle the next time he came in, according to police.
Police said these acts made the staff fear for the safety of their lives as well as the lives of the children inside the school.
When the Coal Valley News attempted to contact Pickens, woman hung up after answering a telephone number listed for him.