Former St. Olaf student charged with terroristic threats has GPS bracelet showing no signal, state says

Minnesota officials were seeking the return of a former St. Olaf student charged with terroristic threats after his GPS bracelet locator has been failing to emit a signal, new state documents allege., but the judge in the case ruled the 20-year-old defendant will be allowed to remain in Vermont. 

Waylon Kurts, 20, was released from Rice County Jail on a $100,000 conditional bail in late-April after being charged with terroristic threats and conspiring to commit a crime after a custodian found boxes of high-capacity magazines in a garbage can addressed to him outside a dorm. As part of his release, he would be allowed to return to family in Vermont, but required to wear a GPS locator bracelet as part of the conditions.

At this time of his arrest, public safety officials searched his dorm and found a cache of items including a tactical vest, empty ammunition boxes, gun magazines, knives, propane canisters, lighter fluid, a list of St. Olaf Public Safety radio frequencies, and a notebook with "extensive writings," according to court records.

He was subsequently suspended from school and arrested in Edina, Minnesota, the day after his dorm was searched.

During the investigation, law enforcement also searched his vehicle and found a small notebook with extensive notes on combat and guns. One page titled "things to be good at" described training to shoot people in targeted areas, including in the face, and to "shoot a lot" because people often survive being shot by a handgun, charges allege.

However, since then a request for amended conditions alleges that his GPS bracelet locator has not been emitting a signal in Middlesex, Vermont, where he was supposed to be staying with family.

Currently, Kurts is required to walk to a high point on his father’s property hourly so that his monitor can connect with satellites.

According to the filing, it’s believed the walk or hike is approximately one-mile across the families 2-acre property. When he plans to sleep for the evening, he is supposed to call Rice County Community Corrections (RCCC) so they know not to look for any signal.

The topography of the property is a forested, according to documents, and his mother reports that they, "have no cell phone signal and use Wi-Fi to communicate."

As a result, Minnesota Monitoring has been contacted by RCCC, and suggests either placing Kurts on house arrest – which would require the family to re-connect its landline – or physically returning to the state of Minnesota. 

The family says is previously disconnected its landline "to stop incessant phone calls from the news media."

Minnesota Monitoring also notes potential concerns with malfunctioning equipment since it does not have technicians in Vermont.

His next hearing is scheduled for Aug. 15.