The Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office is reviewing the findings of an investigation that could result in the felony indictment of an 18-year-old Hilliard resident in connection with a false social-media threat against Hilliard Darby High School that was circulated last month.
Meanwhile, the status of Andrew Wiggins, the 16-year-old Darby student arrested Feb. 26 on second-degree felony charges of inducing panic for fabricating and spreading the threat, in the court system is unclear.
“Our court is not permitted to release any information about juvenile records to anyone outside attorneys or parties involved. A judge’s order is (otherwise) required,” said Xenia Palus, communications director for Franklin County Clerk of Courts Maryellen O’Shaughnessy.
ThisWeek could not determine if Wiggins has an attorney.
Charges of obstructing justice, a third-degree felony, were dismissed March 12 in Franklin County Municipal Court against Eagle, according to municipal court records, but the prosecutor’s office still is looking at the case.
“We have received a felony packet and it is being reviewed,” Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said March 14.
Online municipal court entries do not include attorneys of record, and Eagle also did not yet have a Franklin County Court of Common Pleas entry that would list her legal counsel.
The prosecutor assigned to Eagle’s case, Marla Farbacher, did not return a call seeking comment.
According to a municipal court complaint, Eagle did “hinder the apprehension, prosecution, of another by communicating false information” and that she “did lie to law enforcement about seeing a threat to Darby High School on Snapchat, which helped corroborate (a story that) caused panic and alarm to Hilliard Darby High School.”
Per the Ohio Revised Code, the offense has a maximum penalty of up to 36 months in prison and a $10,000 fine, Hilliard police spokeswoman Andrea Litchfield said.
Eagle is a 2017 Darby graduate, said Stacie Raterman, a spokeswoman for Hilliard City Schools.
Wiggins and Eagle are acquaintances, Litchfield said.
Litchfield said investigators determined Wiggins on Feb. 23 caused a panic when he started telling others he saw a threat against Darby posted on the Snapchat social-media platform.
Wiggins eventually told investigators the post never existed, she said.
“Police were never able to find the original screenshot of the alleged threat,” she said.
A Hilliard police announcement on Facebook and Twitter on Feb. 26 said an “extensive investigation” found the threat “to have no credibility” because Wiggins fabricated it, posted about it and forwarded it to other students.
“It spread from there (via social media) and we soon had thousands of worried students and parents,” Litchfield said.
Charges of inducing panic typically are a misdemeanor, but because this threat involved a public school, the charge is a felony, she said.