Separate pleas made in school panic case

Published 9:05 am Wednesday, September 2, 2015

One of a pair of teens facing felony charges of inducing panic will be in court today following his not guilty plea by reason of insanity.

In April Samuel J. Patrick and John Pacinhik, both 18, of Rome Township, were indicted by a Lawrence County grand jury for second-degree felony counts of complicity to inducing panic and inducing panic. The indictment followed their arrests after Fairland School District reported that allegedly “alarming material” had been posted through the social media site, Instagram.

In early August Samuel J. Patrick, through his then counsel, Michael Davenport, entered a plea in writing.

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On Monday Pacinhik pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of a fifth degree felony of inducing panic. He faces up to 12 months in prison. His sentencing date has not been set.

Now Patrick will be defended by Portsmouth attorney Gene Meadows. The hearing is the courtroom of common pleas judge Charles Cooper. If convicted Patrick could face up to eight years in prison.