Student jailed for Web threats

Published 8:55 pm Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A 16-year-old Jemison High School sophomore remains in custody after being arrested for making terrorist threats through his MySpace page.

The unidentified student was taken into custody by Jemison Police before midnight Monday and charged with the terrorist charge, a class C felony, after a concerned parent came across the messages online.

According to Jemison Chief of Police Shane Fulmer, the student had made violent threats against individuals at Jemison High School, saying he was going to “shoot up the school” and compared the planned event to the Virginia Tech shootings.

“This is a very serious situation that we take very serious for the protection of everyone, especially the students and faculty at Jemison High School,” Fulmer said.

The student was immediately transferred to the Shelby County Juvenile Detention Center, where he will remain held until a court appearance in the coming days in front of District Judge Rhonda Jones Hardesty.

Fulmer said within the messages on the MySpace page were six fellow students who were “not directly threatened” but listed as students the juvenile identified as people he was “having trouble with.”

“These students were not threatened but were mentioned on the postings,” Fulmer said.

Fulmer said he understands school officials have talked with each of the six students mentioned and their parents. Fulmer said he has talked with most of the students and parents.

“We have simply told them what is going on and that there is no reason to panic,” Fulmer said. “This student remains behind bars and will remain there until he sees Judge Hardesty.”

The parent who came across the messages was a parent of one of the six students mentioned in the threatening messages.

Fulmer added that the student, when arrested, was not in possession of any firearms, but that the student had “access to firearms.”

“I thank the concerned parents who brought this to our attention,” Fulmer said. “I also thank the high school staff who worked with us even during the late hours of the night.”