Charges Dropped, Reduced in Kent State Twitter Threat Case

William Koberna taken off court ordered GPS monitoring device

The Kent State University student at the center of is no longer facing a felony charge in the case following a court hearing this morning.

Judge Barbara Oswick this morning reduced a  first-degree felony charge of inducing panic originally filed Monday against William Koberna, 19, of Brunswick, to a first-degree telecommunications harrassment charge.

The lesser charge stemmed from an indictment issued on the telecommunications charge Thursday by a Portage County grand jury.

Kent State Police charged Koberna Monday with inducing panic, a fifth-degree felony, and aggravated menacing, a first-degree misdemeanor, after Koberna reportedly posted a message on Twitter in which he threatened to use a fire arm on campus.

Oswick dropped the charge of aggravated menacing this morning.

The judge also removed a condition of Koberna's release on bond earlier this week that had required him to wear a GPS monitoring bracelet. That decision was made at the request of Koberna's attorney, Paul Cristallo.

Koberna's attorney argued, in part, that the GPS monitoring would potentially limit his client's ability to apply to other colleges.

"He doesn't own a gun," Cristallo said. "There are no weapons in his home."

Cristallo said his client was a 2010 honors graduate from Brunswick High School and also made the dean's list during his time at Kent State.

The tweet, posted late last month, reportedly included profanity directed at Kent State President Lester Lefton and also stated "I'm shooting up your school ASAP," according to Ohio.com.

Oswick with the other two requirements that he be barred from setting foot on any Kent State campus and that he have no contact with Kent State President Lester Lefton intact.

Koberna, who appeared in court wearing black dress slacks and a dark blue polo shirt, said little to the judge other than "Yes, mam" and "No, mam" in response to her questions.

After the hearing, Koberna left the courthouse with his parents and attorney celebrating the fact the felony charge had been dropped.

Portage County Prosecutor Victor Vigluicci issued a press release this morning stating that because Koberna still faces the telecommunications harrassment charge his case will remain in Portage County Municipal Court for further adjudication.

If found guilty, the telecommunications charge carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The sophomore has been placed on interim suspension by Kent State "pending due process of criminal charges," according to university officials.

Debbie S. August 04, 2012 at 03:24 AM
Matt: The word is "ma'am" which is the contracted form of "madam."
Adam C. Miller August 04, 2012 at 07:34 AM
This kid has SERIOUS issues!!!
Adam C. Miller August 04, 2012 at 07:36 AM
This kid needs some intense counseling!
Witney August 04, 2012 at 04:01 PM
I definitely feel he should have to wear a monitor for a much longer period. He gave up his right to privacy when he threatened the lives of students and faculty. I feel like a slap on the wrist is giving the public the wrong message. There should be ZERO tolerance!
Kent4Life August 27, 2012 at 02:06 PM
Good timing on behalf of the idiot to tweet something like that.....Kudos to Kent State for taking advantage of the opportunity to have Media exposure


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