Teens charged for 'mass murder' threats plead not guilty - WNEM TV 5

Teens charged for 'mass murder' threats plead not guilty

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LAPEER, MI (WNEM) -

Three teens could soon learn their fate after being charged with making a terrorist threat against a Mid-Michigan school.

Police are investigating after the threat was made on Tuesday, Feb. 21.

Lapeer County School’s Director of Communications Jared Field posted a letter on the school’s website saying a written threat was made against the Zemmer Campus.

The terrorist threat is a 20 year felony. The teens were also charged with using a computer to commit a crime and conspiracy to commit terrorism causing death - a life offense.

Their names are being withheld since they are minors, but they are 14 and 15-years-old. They attended Zemmer Junior High School.

They are being held in a juvenile detention center.

The charges stem from a series of text messages one of the minors sent threatening to commit "mass murder" at the school, the Lapeer County prosecutors said.

A fourth student saw the text and told their parents, who called 911. It is unclear if the three teens had any capability of carrying out the threats.

"Any time we have a situation like this in any community, not just Lapeer, our schools and our children are the vital part of it," Lapeer County Sheriff Scott McKenna said.

On Feb. 28 the three teens, a 14-year-old and two 15-year-olds, appeared in court. They confirmed they understood the charges against them.

"I've authorized criminal charges in the most serious nature, life offenses for conspiracy to commit murder and terrorist acts," Lapeer County Prosecutor Michael Sharkey said.

Each of the teens pleaded not guilty. If they are convicted they could spend 20 to 25 years in prison on each of the charges alone.

The youngest is facing additional computer crime charges because prosecutors said the text exchange stemmed from his phone.

A preliminary exam was scheduled for May 9 in front of Judge Laura Barnard.

The teenagers remain in custody at a juvenile center in Genesee County.

Click here to read the letter.

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