On October 4, 2012, then 19-year-old Josh Pillault got into an argument on Runescape. Another player called Pillault insane and told him to commit suicide. The argument only escalated from there, and at some point in his response, Pillault said he would “level” local Alabama high school Oxford High. Pillault also alluded to the Columbine shooting, and said he could not “wait to blow brains out of skulls.” Four days later, on October 8, 2012, the FBI arrested Pillault in his home in Alabama. According to his case file, he was charged with “knowingly and willfully communicating a threat by means of the internet, an instrument of interstate and foreign commerce, concerning an attempt to kill and injure individuals and unlawfully damage and destroy buildings by means of fire and explosives.” (Note: Pillault’s case file says he was arrested in October 2014. This is an error. The correct dates can be found in the FBI’s records of the arrest.) In the trial that followed, in which Pillault eventually pled guilty, he was sentenced to six years in prison, which, as his case file says, is “forty-eight months longer than the advisory guideline range” normally used when sentencing youth of Pillault’s age. In… Read full this story
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