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Former University of Maryland student receives probation sentence for campus shooting threats

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Published on: Thursday, November 01, 2012

By Jim Davis

A Prince George’s County Circuit Court judge has sentenced a former University of Maryland student to three years supervised probation.

Alexander Song, 19, of Fulton, pleaded guilty to disturbing the peace at a school or college and misuse of telephone facilities in August. In March, Song, a student at the time, posted statements to several websites saying, “I will be on a shooting rampage tomorrow on campus,” “hopefully I kill enough people to make it to national news,” and “stay away from the Mall to- morrow at 1:30.”

Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said, “We are pleased with the sentence handed down to Mr. Song today. I want to thank the law enforcement officials at the University of Maryland who worked quickly to avert the potentially dangerous threat that Song posed.”

After several people, who noticed the online postings, called the University of Maryland police regarding the statements by Song, campus police set up surveillance on Song and arrested him on campus several hours later.

“The best security we have is us looking after each other,” said university Police Chief David Mitchell. “And that’s exactly what happened. Three people saw online postings and called us.”

The telephone charge carries a maximum sentence of three years be- hind bars, making it a disqualifying crime, meaning it will be illegal for Song to possess a regulated firearm. If Song violates his probation, he would face the possibility of being sentenced to three years in prison.

At a press conference held late Friday afternoon in front on the County Courthouse in Upper Marlboro, Alsobrooks said her office is drafting legislation to introduce a law that would make it a crime to make generalized threats via phone and email. While some surrounding jurisdictions already have this law, Maryland does not. The General Assembly will convene for their next regular session in January 2013 and Alsobrooks said she plans to work with legislators to get such a bill passed.

“This case and the case of Neil Prescott underscore the need for a communicating threats statute,” Alsobrooks said. “I want to ensure that we have the tools to treat these threats with the seriousness they warrant.”

Song remains banned from the University of Maryland campus and any change in his status would be the university’s decision.

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