HIGH POINT, N.C. — The Guilford County Jail confirms 19-year-old Paul Steber has bonded out of jail. He is accused of plotting to shoot up High Point University in August.
Court documents show he was released from jail after paying a $250,000 bond.
Steber was ordered to surrender his passport and will be monitored. Court documents say he can't go online and must stay away from High Point University.
Steber is charged with having guns on education property, which is a felony.
Steber admitted to police he had been planning the mass shooting since Christmas 2018. The plan was foiled by students who reported to campus security after seeing Steber's guns.
During a search of his dorm room, police said they found guns, ammo, a plan and timeline to kill people.
Many sounded off on social media about Steber being released on bond. A Triad attorney says bond is a constitutional right.
"The process is set up like this because most people don’t have the entire amount to get somebody out, but you don’t want to punish an individual if they don’t have the entire amount of money because then you’re keeping people in jail solely on what they’ve got," said Attorney David Freedman.
Freedman says bonds are not meant to be punitive, but to assure an individual's presence in court.
"Judges are in difficult positions. They have to worry about protecting society but they do have to ensure the individual's constitutional right is protected, and it’s a balancing process and it's never perfect but everyone is entitled to the same constitutional protections regardless of what the charges may be," said Freedman.
He says unless a person is charged with first degree murder, everyone is entitled to a reasonable bond.
Information from Steber's first court hearing:
- Steber purchased the guns over the weekend.
- Steber had been thinking about the shooting since last Christmas.
- Steber said he wanted to rush a fraternity and that if his roommate got in and he didn't get in, he would kill his roommate and himself.
- He researched and watched videos of the Charleston, South Carolina church shooting and other mass shootings so he would learn what and what not to do.
- Steber told authorities he attended school in North Carolina specifically because 'it was easier to get a gun'.
- He has no prior criminal history.
- Prosecutor said in the case that he was released, he must not have access to the internet, should be monitored and must surrender his passport.
- The judge approved that Steber should undergo a mental health evaluation.