Home detention for Missouri man charged with making threats

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 18, 2015 5:42 PM

By Anthony Romano and Lakshna Mehta

COLUMBIA, Mo. (Reuters) - A 19-year-old white Missouri man charged with making threats to shoot black people on the University of Missouri campus faces home detention and no Internet access when he gets out of jail.

Appearing in Boone County Circuit Court on Wednesday, Hunter M. Park was silent as Judge Kimberly Shaw reaffirmed his bond at $10,000 and agreed with prosecutors in setting conditions for his release in a 30-minute hearing.

In addition to home detention and no Internet access, Park, who was in handcuffs and a black and white striped shirt and pants, must also wear a GPS device to track his whereabouts and undergo a psychiatric evaluation upon his release. His next hearing is scheduled for Dec. 23.

As of 4 p.m. CST (2200 GMT) on Wednesday, Park was still in Boone County Jail, officials there said. He suffers from cystic fibrosis which causes persistent lung infections and led to his hospitalization on Sunday, according to his attorney.

Park, of Lake St. Louis, Missouri, was charged with making a threat last week on the social media messaging app Yik Yak, days after the president of the University of Missouri resigned after protests over his handling of reports of racial abuse on campus.

The University of Missouri turmoil has raised tensions on U.S. university campuses, where marches or walkouts have taken place this week as students protest what they see as school officials' lenient approach to racial abuse.

The Columbia campus is 115 miles (185 km) west of Ferguson, Missouri, where a white policeman fatally shot an unarmed black teenager last year.

Park, a student at Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Missouri, where he studied computer science, has withdrawn from school, his attorney said on Wednesday. According to court documents, he expressed a "deep interest" in a recent Oregon school massacre that left 10 dead including the shooter.

Park's attorney declined to comment after the hearing.

Police said Park's threats had circulated on social media, including Yik Yak, where an anonymous post tagged "Columbia" late on Tuesday read: "I'm going to stand my ground tomorrow and shoot every black person I see."

(Reporting by Anthony Romano and Lakshna Mehta in Columbia, Missouri, Writing by Ben Klayman; Editing by Tom Brown)