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Muskegon County prosecution team seeks justice following dozens of school threats

Fruitport Township Police Department
Posted at 9:03 PM, Mar 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-18 08:44:15-04

MUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich. — Unfortunately, school threats are nothing new these days especially in the weeks following the Oxford School shooting that left 4 students dead and 7 people hurt.

In Muskegon County alone officials busted nearly 40 juveniles for making threats following that attack.

"We want to just hold them accountable and make them understand the impact of the decision they made," Muskegon County Prosecutor DJ Hilson told FOX17.

Michigan was a state on edge following the shooting at Oxford High School last fall.

That tragedy led to 39 juveniles and three adults exploiting that fear and making threats all around Muskegon County.

"And we saw a lot of parents who were disappointed, obviously in their child for making these poor decisions," he said.

It was those poor decisions impacting families in Mona Shores, Fruitport, and a school in California. Those people who allegedly made those false threats are now facing the consequences.

Prosecutor Hilson says they're seeking justice but didn't want the kids to become part of the criminal justice system.

"But most importantly, (parents) very supportive of what was happening, and in supportive of how these cases were being handled, and certainly the resolution that was being proposed.

He says the 15 who have gone through proceedings need to do 40 hours of community service, a letter of apology, and an essay on the effects of school threats.

"All those things are going to be critically important just to help them understand the impact of their decision making," he said.

Hilson says it was a team effort largely thanks to his assistant county prosecutor Kristyn Gilmore.

"I'm really pleased with how the courts handle it. I'm certainly pleased how my office's handle it. And ultimately, as we move the rest of these cases through, I'm expecting nothing but positive results as a result," Hilson said.

Hilson says when the kids turn 18, their records will be cleaned from the public eye. However, the judicial system will still see these school threats on their record if they ever find selves in front of a judge again.

As for the dozens of others accused of making threats they're still working they're way through the system.

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