Nicholasville Men Indicted For School Shooting Threat Hoax and Cyberstalking
LEXINGTON Ky. – Two Nicholasville, Ky., men were indicted today for using social media to post a false threat about a prospective shooting at one or more Jessamine County schools and for using social media to harass and intimidate an individual victim with those same threats.
A federal grand jury in London returned an indictment charging 18-year-old Tristan Kelly and 19-year-old Cody Ritchey with one count of conveying false information and hoaxes and one count of cyberstalking. The indictment alleges that Kelly and Ritchey used Snapchat to spread false information that a third individual would attack Jessamine County schools with firearms and to harass K.S., an innocent victim, with threats that caused K.S. substantial emotional distress. According to the indictment, Kelly and Ritchey spread the false information and threats on or about February 17, 2018.
Robert M. Duncan, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Amy Hess, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Todd Justice, Chief of the Nicholasville Police Department, jointly announced the indictment. The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the Nicholasville Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The indictment was presented to the grand jury by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Boone.
A date for Kelly and Ritchey to appear in federal court has not yet been scheduled. They face up to 5 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for each charge. However, any sentence following a conviction would be imposed by the Court, after its consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statutes.
Any indictment is an accusation only. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.