Seven people in Central and Eastern Kentucky were in custody Monday morning after allegedly making threats over the weekend to schools in Jessamine, Knox and Clay counties.
Two teens face terroristic threatening charges after allegedly using the image of an uninvolved third person to make a threat on social media against Jessamine County schools, according to police and jail records.
Elsewhere in Kentucky, a middle schooler in Clay County was taken into custody after posting a threat on Facebook, and in Knox County three people were arrested in connection with social media threats against the school district there. Yet more districts have reassured parents through prominent social and website posts that rumors online or elsewhere were not credible threats.
Tristan H. Kelly, 19, and Cody T. Ritchey, 18, were jailed Sunday after they were arrested and charged about 5:21 a.m. by Nicholasville police who worked through the night, officer Kevin Grimes said. Both young men had attended public schools in Jessamine County, but Grimes did not know if they had graduated.
The police department worked with the social media network Snapchat to get account and other information about who made the post, Grimes said in Facebook posts. The threatening post that was shared by the public with law enforcement and many others across the city, county and state was “crucial in developing the evidence to make the arrests,” Grimes said.
The two used a social media image of an individual who “was not involved with the threats,” Grimes said. “We were fairly confident that (the person) was not involved in making the post but until we were able to make contact with him and other family members we could not come out and say that.” The name of the uninvolved individual was initially circulated.
In the the Nicholasville threat, a photo of a boy with a handgun accompanied text that said “Be ready for school monday Jessamine County.” (Actually, no classes were scheduled Monday because of the Presidents’ Day holiday.)