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Charge filed against suspect in Columbia school incidents

UPDATE 4/18: Kelvin Joe’s appearance in a Boone County courtroom is set for Thursday afternoon.

UPDATE 4/17: Kelvin Joe will not have an initial court appearance Wednesday afternoon, courtroom officials said.

A court appearance was listed in information about Joe in the Boone County Sheriff’s Department’s online inmate roster, but that information was incorrect, court officials said.

UPDATE 4/17: Kelvin Joe has been charged with one count of first-degree trespassing after his arrest Tuesday.

Joe was scheduled for an initial court appearance Wednesday afternoon. His bond remained at $10,000 cash-only ahead of the hearing, with a condition that he not be on any Columbia Public Schools campus.

Prosecutors filed the charge Wednesday.

Police found and arrested Joe in the parking lot of Stephens Lake Park while investigating the incident at West Middle School on Tuesday, according to a probable cause statement filed in the case. Joe admitted to being at the schools and told police he had visited them to “bless them.”

UPDATE 4/17: Kelvin Joe has a court appearance set for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. He is jailed on a $10,000 cash-only bond on suspicion of first-degree trespassing for allegedly driving onto the West Middle School campus on Tuesday.

Joe had been cited for trespassing last week after he approached a student on the Gentry Middle School campus.

Information about charges was not available in online court records Wednesday morning.

Columbia Public Schools emailed parents Wednesday with information about the West Middle School incident, including a news release issued by the Columbia Police Department late Tuesday.

UPDATE: Columbia police said Kelvin Joe, the man cited for trespassing last week at Gentry Middle School, was connected to Tuesday’s suspicious incident at West Middle School.

Officers contacted Joe and confirmed he was the individual at West Middle School around 7:10 am this morning. Joe was arrested for 1st Degree Trespass. Due to Joe willfully violating the trespass warning from the previous incident, Columbia Police have requested a bond increase and the Boone County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has petitioned the judge for a higher bond.

Columbia Police Department news release

Police were sent to West Middle School at 7:10 a.m. Tuesday on a report of a suspicious vehicle that matched the description of one Joe was driving last week when he was cited after interacting with a student on the Gentry Middle School campus and going onto a private school campus. Police said last week they had no evidence that Joe intended to abduct the Gentry student.

He had also been seen at a private school before the Gentry incident.

ORIGINAL: A vehicle matching the description of one driven by a man who set off a scare at a Columbia middle school last week was seen at another school Tuesday.

Columbia Public Schools sent a letter to middle school families saying a black Mercedes with tape over its hood emblem driven by an African-American man was spotted on the West Middle School campus by a school administrator. The incident happened before students arrived.

Last week a man named Kelvin Joe was cited for trespassing after appearing on a private school campus and then apparently offering a student money outside Gentry Middle School in south Columbia.

The incident touched off a scare that Joe was attempting to kidnap the Gentry student, but police later said they did not believe that was the case based on the evidence. Joe went to the Columbia Police Department to speak with officers after police held a news conference about the Gentry incident.

Columbia Public Schools said it reported the Tuesday incident to police and were working to gather more information. CPS did not say the driver of the vehicle seen at West was identified as Joe.

ABC 17 News spoke with an authority on school safety, who says schools should always report incidents like these.

The letter to families asked them to be extra vigilant.

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