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School threat suspect to stay in psychiatric hospital during trial

SAN DIEGO -- A 21-year-old former Torrey Pines High School student accused of posting threats targeting the school on his Instagram account can remain at a county psychiatric hospital where he is being treated for mental health issues, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Kevin Gregory Matlak -- charged with making criminal threats and identity theft -- appeared at his arraignment in a wheelchair, covered in a blanket and accompanied by two health care workers. Matlak had a blanket pulled up to his face and didn't say anything during the hearing.

Judge Jay Bloom entered a not guilty plea on behalf of the defendant and set bail at $525,000, saying Matlak was a danger to the community.

The judge ordered the San Diego County Psychiatric Hospital to give the court 48 hours notice if Matlak was to be released, noting concern for the safety of Torrey Pines students graduating on Friday.

Classmates of Matlak who graduated in 2015 reported the threats to law enforcement on May 30, leading to his arrest.

Matlak bailed out of jail and voluntarily checked himself into the mental health facility June 4, defense attorney Brian Watkins said.

The attorney said Matlak is a danger to himself, but not to others.

Watkins said Matlak didn't threaten anyone directly, but three former classmates read his posts on Instagram and felt threatened by them. The attorney said the threats were "not very clear" and "ambiguous."

Deputy District Attorney Matthew Greco said one of Matlak's posts read "Rest in Peace Torrey Pines High School."

"I hate all of you," another post read, according to the prosecutor.

Matlak also posted a photo of him holding an AR-15 rifle in one hand and giving the middle finger with the other hand, Greco said.

Matlak faces four years and four months in state prison if convicted.