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Mother Pleads Not Guilty To Threatening Lakeside Schools

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A mother accused of threatening to carry out a shooting at an elementary school pleaded not guilty Monday to a felony count of making a criminal threat and misdemeanor drug charges.

Sarah Joy Lomaintewa, 29, was ordered held on $100,000 bail. The alleged threats were reported shortly after noon last Thursday, prompting administrators to institute lockdowns at Lindo Park Elementary in Lakeside, Tierra del Sol Middle School and El Capitan High School while deputies searched for the perpetrator, sheriff's Lt. George Calderon said.

Within 90 minutes, the security measures were lifted, and students were bused to a nearby commercial parking lot to be picked up by their parents.

Shortly before 4 that afternoon, deputies arrested Lomaintewa in the area of Ashwood and Mapleview streets, near the south end of the high school, Calderon said.

Authorities did not release a suspected motive or say how Lomaintewa was identified as the alleged perpetrator. However, Lomaintewa told KGTV 10 News from jail that her family turned her in and that there was family tension over issues involving drug use and religion.

She denied making any threats, saying she would never carry out a school shooting because she loves her four children, who attend Lindo Park Elementary. But Lomaintewa conceded in the televised interview that she was under in the influence of marijuana and methamphetamine when she was arrested, and said she felt embarrassed about the threat allegation.

In addition to the felony threat charge, the defendant is facing misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance and being under the influence of a controlled substance, specifically methamphetamine.

Lomaintewa will be back in court March 18 for a readiness conference and March 23 for a preliminary hearing. She faces three years in prison if convicted, said Deputy District Attorney Daniel Shim.

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