Yik Yak threat-maker sentenced to probation

3 years 7 months 1 week ago Thursday, June 16 2016 Jun 16, 2016 Thursday, June 16, 2016 11:37:00 AM CDT June 16, 2016 in News
By: Lauren Barnas, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA — A judge sentenced the man who threatened University of Missouri students on social media last fall to five years of probation Thursday afternoon. The judge also said Hunter Park can never own a firearm.

The judge originally sentenced Park to three years in prison, but suspended that sentence in lieu of probation.

Prosecuting Attorney Brouck Jacobs said Park received a middle-ground sentence. He said Park's family was asking that a criminal conviction would be left off Park's record.

Hunter Park was charged with making terrorist threats to Mizzou's campus on the anonymous social media app Yik Yak last November. He pleaded guilty to the charges in April.

The Missouri Students Association at MU posted a few of the threats to its Twitter account the day after Park posted them, calling them unacceptable.

"Probation is appropriate. What Hunter posted was terribly wrong, it was a terrible mistake and he said some terrible things," Jeff Hilbrenner, Park's defending attorney, said. "But the Hunter that I've gotten to know over the past several months and the letters of support for Hunter show that the threats are not emblematic of who he actually is."

Hilbrenner read a few of the 58 character reference letters at the hearing that friends and family members submitted on Park's behalf.

One threat read, "Some of you are alright. Don't go to class tomorrow." Another said, "I'm going to stand my ground tomorrow and shoot every black person I see." The prosecutor listed about 10 other threats made from the app before they were taken down.

MUPD arrested Park around 2 a.m. the morning after he posted the threats. The defense said Park never intended to carry out the threats, because Park was not on MU’s campus at the time of the threats, as officials determined that night. Park was a sophomore at Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Mo.

However, the prosecutor said Thursday that Park changed his coordinates on his cell phone at the time of the threats to trick the Yik Yak app into thinking Park was in the Columbia area. Jacobs said this made the threats seem more dangerous.

 

[Editor's note: This story has been updated for clarity.]

More News

Grid
List
BELLE - The Maries County Sheriff addressed concerned Belle residents Thursday after the town closed its police department earlier this... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 10:19:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
MID-MISSOURI - A multi-day storm system continues in central Missouri, reaching a crescendo Thursday night through Friday with snow accumulations... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 7:07:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in Weather
JEFFERSON CITY - After more than a year and a half of sitting empty, and with holes throughout, a Jefferson... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 6:16:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
ASHLAND - Winter weather brings more than just frosty temperatures. It brings the unexpected. Especially when parents and grandparents are... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 5:06:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY - This winter has brought above-average levels of snow and ice to mid-Missouri, and now, crews across the... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 4:18:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
COLE COUNTY - Construction on Route 54 south of Jefferson City will begin on Monday, January 27. The project is... More >>
12 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 3:32:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department is asking for the public's help in identifying a man accused of assault. The... More >>
13 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 2:42:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
A replat of property at the northwest corner of Cherry and Hitt streets to accommodate plans for a six-story... More >>
13 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 2:21:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Jim Lehrer, the retired PBS anchorman and a graduate of the MU School of Journalism, died Thursday... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 12:59:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Boone County Prosecuting Attorney Daniel Knight is objecting to a defense request for change of venue in... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 12:22:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Roy Blunt commended President Trump’s announcement that the Environmental Protection Agency has finalized its Waters of... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 12:16:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration on Thursday published new visa rules aimed at restricting “birth tourism,” in which women... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 11:15:00 AM CST January 23, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Too much rock salt on your driveway might hurt your yard in the spring. According to the... More >>
17 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 11:01:00 AM CST January 23, 2020 in News
SPRINGFIELD - The first untested sexual assault kits recorded through Missouri's SAFE Kits Initiative will be collected at the Springfield... More >>
17 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 10:50:00 AM CST January 23, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Lucky's Market has confirmed that the Columbia location will remain open as they begin closing various stores around... More >>
17 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 10:34:00 AM CST January 23, 2020 in News
BEIJING (AP) — Chinese authorities Thursday moved to lock down three cities that are home to more than 18 million... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 9:56:00 AM CST January 23, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - 192 medical marijuana dispensary facilities will receive their licenses Thursday, according to the Department of Health and... More >>
19 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 9:06:00 AM CST January 23, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City Royals star catcher Salvador Perez is about to become a U.S. citizen.... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 8:03:53 AM CST January 23, 2020 in Sports
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 32°
5am 31°
6am 31°
7am 31°
8am 32°