A man spotted running near two Martinsburg schools on the first day of classes while carrying a training rifle and dressed in camouflage agreed to undergo an evaluation as a condition of his release from jail Wednesday.
William Everett “Billy” Alemar, 23, who is charged with committing a terroristic act and wearing body armor while committing a felony offense, will reside with his parents in Shepherdstown, W.Va., attorneys said.
Alemar was released from Eastern Regional Jail Wednesday on a $50,000 personal recognizance bond shortly after he waived his right to have a preliminary hearing within certain time requirements in Berkeley County Magistrate Court.
Alemar also agreed to undergo random drug and alcohol testing as a condition of his bond, and will be allowed to go to out-of-state military facilities for treatment that isn’t available locally, according to defense attorney Kevin D. Mills and Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neely.
Alemar had been jailed on a $50,000 cash-only bond since his Aug. 20 arrest.
Alemar’s evaluation is expected to be complete within 14 days and could be followed by treatment within 30 days at one of three facilities, Games-Neely said.
Games-Neely said in a statement after Wednesday’s hearing that her office has been communicating with Alemar’s commanders since last week in an effort to preserve his military career, if possible. Alemar is a member of the Virginia National Guard based in Woodstock, Va., and was deployed to Iraq last year, officials have said.
Games-Neely also said in her statement that she believes the evidence supports the charges pending against Alemar, and she commended the police officers who responded for their “quick and decisive actions in protecting the community and its children from harm.”
Earlier in court on Wednesday, Games-Neely said Alemar could enter a no-contest or Alford plea to one misdemeanor count of assault as part of a plea offer that she extended to resolve the felony case against him.
Mills said after the hearing that Alemar has not accepted the plea offer because he didn’t assault anyone.
In agreeing to allow for Alemar’s release from jail, Games-Neely told the court that the state concluded the defendant is not a danger to the community and that his alleged actions were “unique to that moment in time” when he was arrested.
“If I had the ability to charge someone with being stupid, that’s what we would have done here,” Games-Neely told Snow.
Classes had yet to begin at Martinsburg South Middle and Martinsburg High schools on Aug. 20 when Alemar was spotted running along South Raleigh Street near Bulldog Boulevard, which divides the two school campuses, police and school officials have said. Alemar was never on either school’s campus, Berkeley County Schools officials have said.
Martinsburg police officers said they encountered Alemar in the area of Silver Lane and South Raleigh Street in full military desert camouflage and ballistic vest and with what appeared to be an assault rifle across his chest.
They received multiple calls about his appearance at 7:17 a.m. The firearm was later determined to be an AR-15 (M-4) training rifle that shoots pellets, not bullets.
Police also determined Alemar was highly intoxicated. His blood-alcohol content was 0.213 percent, Games-Neely has said. The state legal limit for motorists is 0.08 percent.
After engaging Alemar at gunpoint, police seized the training rifle, two knives and several unloaded magazines in his possession, according to police.
Additional military equipment and a training pistol were found at Alemar’s apartment, which was a couple blocks from Bulldog Boulevard.
A large crowd of people who gathered outside the magistrate courtroom cheered upon learning Alemar was to be released from jail Wednesday.
Shawn Staub, who rallied with others Wednesday morning outside the Berkeley County Judicial Center in support of Alemar, said he believes his friend was simply following military orders to stay physically fit for another deployment.
“I think the whole thing is absolutely ridiculous — blown out of proportion — and I don’t understand why they’re trying to take away the freedom of someone who risked their life for us and our country,” said Staub, while holding two American flags over his shoulder.
Staub, of Harpers Ferry, W.Va., said he met Alemar three or four years ago while attending Shepherd University. Staub said he spent a considerable amount of time with Alemar until his deployment to Iraq last year.
When Alemar returned home, Staub said Alemar seemed fine, “typical Billy.”
Alemar’s father, Stephen Alemar, said earlier this month that his son graduated from Massanutten Military Academy in Woodstock, and enlisted with the Army National Guard after he was unable to get into the U.S. Naval Academy. A commanding officer from the Virginia National Guard who attended Wednesday’s hearing met with attorneys afterward.
Records indicate Alemar enlisted in January 2007, a U.S. Army spokesman has said.