NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (LEX 18)– Two Nicholasville men were sentenced Friday for using social media to harass and intimidate an acquaintance, with threats of a prospective school shooting.
18-year-old Tristan H. Kelly was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison and 19-year-old Cody T. Ritchey was sentenced to 27 months in federal prison.
Both men pled guilty in June 2018 to one count of cyberstalking.
Kelly and Ritchey both admitted that they created a Snapchat profile on February 17, 2018, using the name and photo of a third person who did not know about their actions. They then used the profile to publish a series of posts suggesting that the third person would attack a Jessamine County School, according to a press release from the Department of Justice. The press release also says they made references to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that had happened only days earlier.
The press release also says that Kelly and Ritchey also said that they used this Sanpchat profile to direct message an acquaintance identified as K.S.. In one of the messages, they told K.S. “you’re the reason im killin everybody make it stop” and “send nudes and ill let you live”. They both admitted that these messages could cause substantial emotional distress.
Under federal law, they much each serve 855 of their prison sentences and upon their release, they will be under the supervision of the United States Probation Office for three years.