A Cuyahoga Falls man accused of planning to set off an explosive device at Cuyahoga Falls High School and making threats against a Kansas elementary school is scheduled to go on trial this summer.
Allen M. Kenna, 18, had a pretrial on Monday before Judge Patricia A Gaughan in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division. He is charged with attempted use of an explosive device and interstate communication of threats. A grand jury in February indicted Kenna on those charges. He then pleaded not guilty to the offenses at a subsequent arraignment.
A final pretrial is scheduled for Aug. 4 at 10 a.m. and the trial is set to begin Aug. 10 at 9:30 a.m., according to court records. Those dates are contingent on the court granting an expected motion to continue the speedy trial process, which will be filed by March 23.
Kenna is in the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center in Youngstown.
Noah Munyer, Kenna’s attorney, said Monday’s pretrial was conducted via phone, with dates being scheduled for other proceedings in the case.
"I would stress that in these trying times, Mr. Kenna and his family would ask the public to not rush to judgement and allow the court process to play out," said Munyer on Tuesday. "This case is one that should be viewed with empathy and not scorn. We are all in this together."
A Cuyahoga Falls High School custodian reported seeing Kenna Jan. 6 walking around the building after hours and using a cell phone to take pictures. When approached, Kenna reportedly fled. He was identified from images taken by school security cameras, and it was determined he was not a student at the school.
According to a complaint filed in federal court, police later executing a search warrant of Kenna’s Monroe Avenue home found items usable for producing an explosive device. Kenna was arrested and charged Jan. 9 in Stow Municipal Court with third-degree felony making a terroristic threat and misdemeanor criminal trespassing. Those charges were dismissed once the case moved to a federal level.
The federal complaint states Kenna allegedly produced additional videos at the school during other after-hours visits. In one of those, Kenna allegedly talked about placing an explosive device below a window as a diversion from the "real target." In an electronic diary the complaint says police found, Kenna allegedly wrote he had been thinking for years about committing violence against others, including random people in public and family members, and that he knew someone who could provide him with guns.
Kenna is also charged with making threatening communications to a Kansas elementary school. It is alleged he called the Fort Riley, Kansas, Sheriff’s Office and claimed he was holding a hostage inside of the school and that he would injure any person attempting to enter the school in response to this threat.
Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at 330-541-9421, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.