Flag burning suspect appears in court

Bond was set Tuesday morning for Nick Newell, the 17-year-old accused of burning American flags at St. James High School on Monday.

Newell faces five charges and bond was set by Judge Christopher Arakas on each charge.

Here's how the charges and bond amounts break down:

Arson - $15,000

Weapons on School - $2,500

Disturbing Schools - $1,000

Malicious Damage - $1,000

Petit Larceny - $1,000

If Newell is released on bond, he is required to wear a GPS monitoring ankle bracelet and is not allowed on school property.

In the hearing, Regina Ward, Newell's lawyer, said that Newell had been going through a lot of stress leading up to the event.

She also stated that more of the truth will come out once the case goes to trial.

"Part of the reason that we are upset about these types of things is our patriotic spirit and so forth, and we need to remember what America's also about. It's also one of the finest justice systems in the world and we believe that the justice system will do the right thing here," Ward said.

Some of Newell's family members were at the jail watching the hearing on closed circuit television but declined to be interviewed.

Horry County police spokesperson Lt. Robert Kegler said on the surveillance video, police saw the suspect barricade the other side of the building before burning the flags at the front entrance, which is what caused police to lockdown and then evacuate the school.

He added that the suspect was also seen on surveillance video carrying a pistol and what appeared to be a machete on his hip. He said the pistol was later determined to be an air pistol.

Newell is a student at Horry County's Academy for the Arts, Science, and Technology.

He's accused of burning several American flags about 2 a.m. Monday morning at the entrance to St. James High School, which is Newell's home school and where he attended for the last two years.

The flags were discovered when security arrived for the school day at 6:20 a.m.

The school was locked down at 8:30 a.m. as a precaution and then evacuated. The students were taken to St. James Middle School where they were released to their parents after a lengthy checkout procedure.

Newell was arrested around 1 p.m. Monday at his home on Indigo Creek Boulevard in Horry County.

The petit larceny charge he faces is in connection to the theft of the American flags from his neighborhood in the Indigo Creek Subdivision last month.