Woman accused of threatening black Kean students denied admission to probation program
A former Kean University student charged with making threats targeting black students on campus via a series of Twitter posts — even though she’s black herself — was denied entrance to a probation program that could result in the charges being expunged from her record, NJ Advance Media reported.
According to the report, the Union County Prosecutor's Office rejected the application for Pre-Trial Intervention submitted by 24-year-old Kayla-Simone McKelvey's attorney, Thomas Ashley.
McKelvey was charged with creating a false public alarm, which is a third-degree crime and carries a maximum penalty of five years if convicted. In December, she pleaded not guilty to the charge.
According to NJ Advance Media, Union County Assistant Prosecutor Shawn Barnes offered to recommend a six-month jail term for McKelvey if she agreed to plead guilty to the charge. In addition, the plea deal would involve paying restitution in an undetermined amount.
Ashley has not accepted the deal on behalf of his client and plans to continue pushing for McKelvey to enter PTI.
In December, authorities said McKelvey left a student rally against racial crimes that was taking place on Nov. 17. Police allege she then went to a computer station inside a library on campus and created an anonymous Twitter account she used to tweet the threats.
McKelvey returned to the rally and helped spread the word among students about the threats, authorities said. Several of the threats were tweeted against black students and claimed there was a bomb on campus. Another read, “I will shoot any black person i see at kean university(sic).”
The Union County Prosecutor said there was no plan to follow through with any of the threats.
Toniann Antonelli is the digital managing editor for news at NJ 101.5. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.