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Criminal defense: New York student charged with uttering threats

A 21-year-old student has been accused of threatening to shoot up a high school in Rochester, according to court records. The New York woman, who is not a student at the school in question, has pleaded not guilty to the charge of making a terroristic threat online. It is confirmed she has retained criminal defense counsel in advance of an arraignment. 

According to the court, the woman allegedly posed as someone else on Feb. 15 when she is believed to have left a vulgar comment on the Rochester high school's Facebook page. The threat indicated a shooter would come to the school the following morning. The comment also apparently expressed sympathy for the Parkland, Florida, shooter, who recently killed 17 students at a high school there. 

Authorities apparently traced the comment to the 21-year-old woman and were quick to act on the alleged threat. The woman was arrested in her home on Feb. 20, where authorities say they found a shotgun in her possession. Police are currently unsure why the school in question was specifically targeted, as the woman is believed to be a student at a different school in the area. 

Threats of this nature are understandably taken very seriously, both here in New York and elsewhere in the nation. However, it is the nature of the American legal system to presume innocence even in a highly charged emotional environment, and the woman is entitled to her day in court. Her criminal defense team will work to build a compelling defense on her behalf, which will likely include a careful review of the process through which authorities traced the anonymous post to the accused woman. 

Source: usnews.com, "NY Student Charged With Threatening to 'Shoot All' at School", Feb. 24, 2018

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