Nicholasville men sentenced for school shooting hoax
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Two Nicholasville men were sentenced Friday after pleading guilty to cyberstalking.
The Office of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky says 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, after pleading guilty to using social media to harass and intimidate someone they knew and for making threats about a possible shooting at a Jessamine County school.
According to the U.S. district attorney, Kelly and Ritchey both admitted they worked together to create a Snapchat profile on February 17, 2018, using the name and picture of a third person who was unaware of their actions.
Kelly and Ritchey then used the profile to publish a series of posts suggesting that the person was going to carry out a shooting a Jessamine County public school and mentioning the shooting that happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, only days earlier.
Attorneys say Kelly and Ritchey also admitted they used the Snapchat profile to send direct messages to an acquaintance saying “you’re the reason im killin everybody make it stop,” and “send nudes and ill let you live.”
As part of their plea agreements, Kelly and Ritchey both admitted they understood these messages could reasonably be expected to cause substantial emotional distress.
Kelly and Ritchey must each serve 85 percent of their prison sentences and will be on probation for three years after they are released.