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UPDATE: Former Sheriff's Candidate Headed to Grand Jury

By: Anna Baxter, Brooks Jarosz Email
By: Anna Baxter, Brooks Jarosz Email

UPDATE 1/7/13 @ 2:30 p.m.
JACKSON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man accused of threatening to open fire on a school will have his case heard by a Grand Jury.

Joseph Tate waived his right to a preliminary hearing Monday morning.

Police say Tate went to Evans Elementary School, in Jackson County, last month because he was upset the DHHR had taken custody of his kids.

Tate is accused of threatening the secretary. He is being charged with two counts of making terroristic threats.

Police say Tate also called the DHHR and said he was going to bring a gun to the school and begin shooting.

Tate is a former candidate for Jackson County Sheriff. He lost his bid for the Sheriff position during the recent primary election.



ORIGINAL STORY
JACKSON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A former candidate for Jackson County Sheriff is facing criminal charges after he threatened to copy a recent tragedy that took dozens of lives, including 20 small children.

Chief Deputy Tony Boggs tells WSAZ.com Joseph Edward Tate, Jr. went to Evans Elementary School in Evans on Tuesday at 8 a.m. upset about the Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) taking custody of his children. Tate was described as irate because he believed the school was responsible for him losing custody of his children, according to investigators.

Chief Boggs says during the confrontation, Tate told the school's secretary "If you wonder why people shoot people like they just did, it's because of things like this!"

School personnel took this as a direct threat and in fear of their personal safety, they called 911. Deputies responded to the school and the DHHR office where they found Tate in the waiting area.

During the investigation, investigators spoke to personnel at the DHHR office and found that the day before when Tate learned about losing his children he said "If you're in my house when I get home, I'll blow your head off" and "You know that school shooting that happened in Connecticut, that's what its gonna be like."

Later that day, Tate called the DHHR again and said something to the effect of "If you take my kids, it'll be like that school shooting. I'll kill a bunch of people and myself."

Tate has been charged with two counts of making terroristic threats. Tate was arraigned on the felony charges in Kanawha County Magistrate Court.

His bond was set at $300,000.

Tate lost his bid for Jackson County Sheriff during the recent primary election.


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