RANCHO BERNARDO — A Rancho Bernardo man whose teenage son allegedly threatened to shoot up his high school was out of custody Wednesday, not long after prosecutors charged him with illegally possessing a large array of weapons.
Neal James Anders, 45, was arrested after his 14-year-old son allegedly made threats to carry out a shooting at Rancho Bernardo High School.
In investigating the threat allegations, prosecutors said police searched the family’s home and a storage facility and found “an arsenal of weapons” that included rifles, pistols, flamethrowers and items that can be used to assemble firearms.
Prosecutors argued the weapons were accessible to Anders’ children and that his son allegedly told other students that he had access to the guns because a lock securing the firearms was broken.
After pleading not guilty last week, Anders remained jailed on $300,000 bail, but jail records indicate he is now out of custody.
The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office said Anders faces new conditions from the court, such as he and his personal electronics can be searched without a warrant and he was ordered against owning any firearms, ammunition, or components and parts thereof.
His defense attorney, Gregory Garrison, stated in court last week that police have seized all of Anders’ firearms.
Garrison argued his client has strong ties to the community and was not a danger or a flight risk. The defense attorney cited Anders’ lack of criminal history, and his employment with a military contractor, stating his employer “anxiously awaits his return to work.”
The D.A.’s Office said Wednesday that Anders “was in fact terminated from his job, which was different than the representation that was made at arraignment.”
A new criminal complaint recently filed against Anders added a dozen new charges, bringing his maximum possible prison term to 10 years if convicted. Those 25 felony and misdemeanor charges include possession of an assault weapon, possession of a short-barreled rifle, and manufacturing or assembling unserialized handguns.
Anders’ son also has a hearing in juvenile court scheduled for this Friday.