CHARLESTON -- A teenager accused of threatening classmates last year while he was still a Charleston High School student has been sentenced to two years of probation.

The teenager, who was 17 years old at the time of the incident, received the sentence for a Class 4 felony disorderly conduct charge as part of a plea agreement that was outlined Friday morning during a juvenile court hearing in Coles County Circuit Court. Without the plea agreement, he could have faced a sentence of one to three years in prison.

Because the case was handled in juvenile court, the defendant is not identified by name.

Coles County State's Attorney Jesse Danley said the plea agreement also calls for the teenager, who is now 18 and has graduated from high school, to serve 30 days in a juvenile detention facility. He said five days of this sentence will be served up front and the other 25 days will be stayed pending the teen successfully complying with his probation terms.

As part of the plea agreement, Danley said the state attorney's office agrees not to file charges against the teenager for any other reports that it has on record. Danley said the teen will be required to pay $904 in restitution for reported damage to a car, but his office will not pursue charges for this incident under the terms of the agreement.

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The teenager also was sentenced to performing 10 hours of community service, complying with an 8 p.m. curfew during his probation, completing a mental health evaluation including an anger management program, writing an apology letter, and abstaining from alcohol and tobacco during his probation.

On Dec. 3, the teenager was arrested after police reports that he threatened to shoot other students. At the time of the arrest, Charleston police said an investigation found that the threat was "only verbal" and there was no evidence that "the student had any real thoughts" of harming anyone.

Police said the boy was reported to have been arguing with three females through multiple contacts on Facebook messenger. He allegedly made threats to "shoot" the three females -- and in one case, her family -- and was willing to come to school if need be, according to the police accounts.

School officials and police confronted the boy as he arrived at school the next morning and no weapons were found in his possession, according to authorities. The teen was also suspended from school following the incident, according to Charleston School District officials.

The teenager was represented in court by defense attorney D.C. May. Coles County Circuit Judge Mitchell Shick presided over the hearing on Friday.

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Contact Rob Stroud at (217) 238-6861. Follow him on Twitter: @TheRobStroud



Rob Stroud is a reporter for the JG-TC, covering the city of Mattoon, Lake Land College, Cumberland County and areas including Oakland, Casey and Martinsville.

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