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Man, 21, charged with felony after threat locks down Sedgwick County Courthouse

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Friday, May 23, 2014, at 8:20 p.m.
  • Updated Friday, May 23, 2014, at 8:20 p.m.

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A 21-year-old man is facing a felony charge after a second-hand threat prompted authorities to lock down the Sedgwick County Courthouse on Wednesday.

Matthew E. Clarke made his first appearance Friday in Sedgwick County District Court on one count of aggravated criminal threat. The case stems from a 911 call made by Clarke’s father Wednesday afternoon, indicating his son was “at court with a gun,” police have said.

Wichita police Lt. Dan East said Thursday it was unclear which courthouse the son was referring to when the father alerted authorities, so the Sedgwick County Courthouse, 525 N. Main, was placed on lockdown. Officers also searched Wichita Municipal Court, located in City Hall, 455 N. Main.

Officers found Clarke in a municipal courtroom with his mother and a friend Wednesday afternoon, police have said. He was arrested after a police interview.

The aggravated criminal threat charge involves disrupted activities at the county courthouse only, according to the complaint filed in the case.

Clarke was being held Friday in Sedgwick County Jail on $75,000 bond. He was also being held on suspicion of theft, online jail records show. There was no bond listed in that case.

He is due back in court June 5 for a preliminary hearing on the threat charge. A court document indicates he will be represented by an attorney in the Sedgwick County Public Defender’s Office.

Clarke listed Derby as his town of residence on a financial affidavit filed with the court.

Reach Amy Renee Leiker at 316-268-6644 or aleiker@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @amyreneeleiker.

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