Two teens charged with what investigators call a conspiracy to commit a school shooting at Westmont Hilltop High School will go to trial.
The decision came after a 4 hour long preliminary hearing Today. Where prosecutors showed how Preston Hinebaugh let Logan Pringle into Westmont Hilltop Junior Senior High School,
where they argue that the two conducted surveillance and there was an imminent threat.
The attorneys for the defendant say those allegations are based on years old threats from Pringle and other circumstantial evidence that doesn’t show a conspiracy.
But the Magistrate Judge said that will be for a jury to decide.
After a 4 hour long hearing, Logan Pringle and Preston Hinebaugh will head to trial on charges they conspired together in a failed attempt at a school shooting at Westmont Hilltop
“We believe the charges were properly bound over and we will continue to investigate and prosecute these crimes with vigor.”
Prosecutors presented evidence they say shows the two left Greater Johnstown Career and Technology Center early to drive up to Westmont where Preston was a student and Pringle had been
ordered in 2018 to have no contact with the school. Pringle had previously set a fire in the school and had later threatened to shoot up the school.
The school’s principal also, testified that back then drawings were found titled the rebellion and the purge in his possession.
Security video played in court showed Hinebaugh being buzzed in through one set of doors, then both Hinebaugh and Pringle briefly went into a vestibule and then the school office to get
a mask. Pringle then quickly went back into the vestibule while Hinebaugh went into the school through the office, then let Pringle in through the 2nd set of front doors.
Video evidence then showed the two walking around and pointing out the security camera. Testimony was presented Thusday that Hinebaugh also took a snapchat image of Pringle with the
phrase he’s back before Pringle went out a side door on his own.
A student testified that Hinebaugh had told her that Logan had been in the school and he had been armed…with what, she said she didn’t know
Police testified Pringle had done a lot of searching of guns in the days leading up to his walk through the school and he knew of an AR-10 rifle inside Hinebaugh’s closet.
They also said Hinebuagh’s father gave them a gun he said was the one in question, but further investigation and search warrants showed otherwise.
They also said Hinebaugh destroyed his phone hours after the two were in the school.
Hinebaugh’s defense attorney though argued hinebaugh had nothing to do with a conspiracy
“There was no agreement to shoot up the school there was not an agreement to commit terrorism, We heard absolutely nothing in here today that there was any validity that there would be
a shooting at Westmont Hilltop School.”
His attorney said that there’s no communication suggesting any plot to shoot up the school and since pringle had entered the first door and the office, he was being allowed in also
saying that the student who testified did not say in court what police said she told them, that Hinebuagh had said Pringle had come to finish what he started years ago.
Both defense attorneys said that the conspiracies were simply based on years old threats that were not been renewed since then.
But Magistrate Judge Kevin Price said there was enough evidence to send the case to trial, though he did imply that given the level of proof needed in a jury trial, the door was open
about their being an overt act of conspiracy.
“He clearly indicated given the higher burden in the common pleas and with the jury that the outcome could be different.”
“Conspiracies aren’t always written down on paper or verbalized, there is a ton of case law that we referenced today about conspiracy and the circumstantial nature of these types of
Both Pringle and Hinebaugh will be formally arraigned next month.