EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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June 7, 2014

NH man who threatened school shooting sent to state hospital

HAVERHILL ‚ A New Hampshire man who allegedly threatened to take an AK47 and shoot up a school was sent for a mental health evaluation at Bridgewater State Hospital yesterday.

Lawrence Beam Jr., 52, of 10 Berry Road, New Durham, N.H. was held without a bail for the past week after he was arraigned on charges of making a threat by use of a dangerous item, extortion of a threat by injury, threats, witness intimidation and two counts of criminal harassment.

Beam said he hated children and threatened to shoot up an unspecified school as part of a longstanding disagreement with his father, who lives in Haverhill, according to police and court records.

Yesterday, Beam was scheduled to appear in Haverhill District Court for a hearing to determine if he’s a danger to others and the community.

But his defense attorney, Lynette Leos, told Judge Stephen Abaney, that she could not communicate with Beam. A court psychiatrist briefly examined Beam and said he told her that he did not fully understood the role of attorneys in the case or that he would get a fair trial.

A mental health evaluation was recommended at Bridgewater State Hospital and no dangerousness hearing was held yesterday.

Shackled and handcuffed, Beam was in court yesterday. He stood silently in the prisoner’s dock during the short court proceeding.

According to police and court records, since May 21, Beam had been calling his father’s home and demanding money, First he wanted $5,000, then he upped the figure to $10,000.

Beam allegedly threatened his father because he feels he was poorly educated which created financial problems for him when he became an adult. A report by Haverhill Detective Penny Portalla said Beam threatened his father and sister by phone.

In a letter he wrote to his father, Beam said he dreamed of walking into a school with an AK47 and shooting a bunch of children. He told his father it was his fault if he carried out the shooting.

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