Thursday, July 2, 2020

MSU student charged with false terror threat to go to trial

November 22, 2019
<p>The East Lansing Police Department, photographed on Aug. 23, 2019. </p>

The East Lansing Police Department, photographed on Aug. 23, 2019.

Photo by Matt Zubik | The State News

Rami Souguir's case was bound over to Ingham County Circuit Court at his preliminary hearing in East Lansing 54B District Court today.

The preliminary hearing regarded Souguir's charges of a false report or threat of terrorism and using a computer to commit a crime, according to East Lansing court records.

These charges stem from an incident in which Souguir, along with his girlfriend Jennifer Spicer, threatened University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. during the first week of classes at Michigan State this fall.

Souguir and Spicer — who were students at the time — made a threat to University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. via a post on Souguir's Reddit account. After waiting around, they decided to take down the post, according to Michigan State University Police Department detective Ryan Stauffer, who testified at the preliminary hearing.

"The witnesses testified to the contents of the message and that while Rami typed the message, his girlfriend sent the message," Souguir's attorney Michael Nichols said. "There was no evidence that he either directed her to do that or that he intended anything other than a satiric joke."

The Reddit post was titled "Killing the University President," according to evidence read aloud during the preliminary hearing.

MSU student and Reddit user, Timothy Morris, noticed the post and reported it to MSUPD.

Spicer had the same charges as Souguir but has taken a plea. She is scheduled for sentencing Dec. 22, according to East Lansing Court Records.

"Rami is not guilty of the crime with which he is charged. He is the target of MSU’s efforts to make him an example to show that safety is taken seriously on campus," Nichols said. "But when one student is made an example and authority tries to hold him accountable for things that he did not do we should all be concerned."

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