Commonwealth Journal

November 16, 2013

SWHS student charged with 2nd-degree terroristic threatening

by Chris Harris
Commonwealth Journal

Somerset — The Southwestern High School student who allegedly sent threatening text messages to two of her peers has been charged with second-degree terroristic threatening.

When the Commonwealth Journal spoke about the case with Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department Detective Bobby Jones on Friday, he wasn’t certain yet what degree the charges would carry. However, later Friday night, the sheriff’s department released a statement on the 15-year-old girl’s charges.

The suspect has not been named, as she is a juvenile.

Second-degree terroristic threatening is a Class D felony, which carries a maximum penalty of one to five years in prison in Kentucky. However, Jones noted that the fact that the suspect is a juvenile would likely have an effect on how she’s charged, as well as the apparent scenario of a “prank gone bad” as Jones put it, as opposed to serious threats.

The girl allegedly sent anonymous messages to two female classmates saying she was going to kill them and described the clothes the victims were wearing in the texts. She also sent a similar text message to herself, and what Jones called a “vulgar” message to another student, a male.

Southwestern students’ movement was restricted throughout the day Friday as law enforcement worked to identify the source of the texts. Pulaski County Assistant Superintendent Sonya Wiles noted that the school was not on “lockdown,” but students did have to be escorted by teachers when going to the lunchroom, and were not able to move from classroom to classroom.

Toward the end of the day, authorities identified the suspect following a series of interviews with students, and she admitted to sending the messages, said Jones.

“I think she did things that she regrets having done,” he said on Friday. “It was already out there and she got more and more scared the bigger it was getting.”