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Police Ordered To Release Weapons In Foiled Westmont School Shooting Plot

The weapons seized by Upper Yoder Township police during their investigation into the foiled shooting plot at the Westmont Hilltop High School have been ordered to be released back into the possession of the father of one of the two teens charged in the case.

According to a court order, dated Monday, July 17th, Cambria County Judge David Tulowitzki granted the “Return of Property” motion filed on behalf of Philson Hinebaugh, the father of Preston Hinebaugh.

The order identified the five weapons seized by police during the investigation, which included three AR-style rifles, as well as various ammo and magazines.

Philson Hinebaugh was charged in March of 2022 with evidence tampering, just a few months after his son, Preston, and Logan Pringle were charged in what authorities described as a school shooting plot.

Following months of court proceedings, both teens eventually entered no contest pleas in the case.

Last October, Pringle was sentenced to serve 3 to 6 years in state prison, followed by ten years of probation.

Then in May, Hinebaugh was sentenced to serve 2 to 18 months in jail, followed by three years of probation.

Officials say, as part of his sentencing, Hinebaugh is also prohibited from possessing any firearms or weapons and cannot reside anywhere that such weapons are present.

As a result, authorities say Philson Hinebaugh testified Monday that the weapons will be kept at a relative’s home in another county.

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