A Seymour High School student who threatened and planned to shoot students at the school, was properly declared a delinquent, even though part of the evidence came from Facebook postings.
That’s from an opinion upheld yesterday by the Indiana Court of Appeals and first reported by TheIndianaLawyer.com.
The incident began in January when the student was overheard discussing plans to shoot a number of people at the school on April 20, noting the anniversary of the massacre at Columbine High School. The student also was heard talking about how he had an accomplice in this would-be shooting. Another student overheard the conversation and informed school officials, leading to an investigation.
During a hearing in May, prosecutors sought to admit Facebook conversations into evidence. The student objected, arguing that the conversations were not properly authenticated and contained inadmissible hearsay. Those social media conversations were ultimately admitted into evidence. According to court documents, after the end of the hearing, the student admitted to one incident of Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Battery as a minor.
The student later appealed, claiming that the Facebook conversations should not have been accepted as evidence.
On Thursday, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the lower court ruling, stating that the Facebook conversations could be used as evidence.