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Bomb-threat charges dropped against Methuen teenager

Prosecutors are dropping their case against a Methuen teenager who was arrested last month for allegedly posting a bomb threat online that mentioned the Boston Marathon attacks and the White House, authorities said.

An Essex County grand jury declined Thursday to bring an indictment against Cameron D’Ambrosio, 18, so prosecutors will formally file a motion to drop the charge of making a bomb or hijack threat, said Carrie Kimball Monahan, a spokeswoman for the district attorney.

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She declined to comment on the grand jury’s decision.

Neither D’Ambrosio nor his lawyer could be reached for comment Thursday night.

Authorities said D’Ambrosio was arrested May 1 after police learned that he had posted a message on his Facebook page that read in part, “Ya’ll want me to [expletive] kill somebody?” and “[expletive] a Boston bombing wait till you see the [expletive] I do.”

The posting did not say where any bombing would occur and did not single out any person or group, but it also allegedly referred to the White House.

D’Ambrosio pleaded not guilty the following day in Lawrence District Court, and he was held without bail.

In a statement, Methuen Police Chief Joseph Solomon said his department disagrees with the decision but respects the ruling.

“Several judiciary levels have confirmed the probable cause in this case, as it has worked its way through the criminal justice system,” said Solomon. “We will continue to take all threats against our community seriously.”

Evan Greer of the Center for Rights, an Internet freedom and civil liberties group, praised the grand jury’s decision in a statement.

“While today is a major victory for Cam, the chilling effect that this case has already had on free speech cannot be undone,” Greer said. “It’s imperative that we send a clear message to all government officials that attacks on freedom of speech will not be tolerated.”

Travis Andersen can be reached at tandersen@ globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.
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