Former Knoch High School student won’t serve jail time in online threat case
A Butler County teen charged with making online threats about shooting classmates at Knoch High School won’t face any jail time after a plea agreement was reached Monday with the Butler County District Attorney’s office.
Laura Pitchford, assistant district attorney for Butler County, said Tuesday that Jason Michael Bowen entered into the plea agreement that orders him to serve one year of parole and two years of probation.
Bowen, 19, of Middlesex was accused of posting a Snapchat video in January that showed him shooting a semi-automatic rifle with the caption “training for prom walk,” according to court documents. In a separate Instagram post in February 2018, authorities say Bowen gave a thumbs-up to the 2012 shooting in Newtown, Conn., in which a gunman killed 20 children and seven adults before taking his own life.
The threats lead to a lockdown for South Butler schools.
As part of the agreement, Bowen pleaded no contest to a charge of making terroristic threats. Additional charges of causing a catastrophe, possessing drug paraphernalia and a weapons offense were dismissed.
Also as part of the agreement, Bowen isn’t allowed to use social media or be on any South Butler School District property. He must have a mental health evaluation and follow up with counseling.
Bowen has been out of jail since early February when his bond was reduced from $100,000 cash to non-monetary with conditions. He was placed on house arrested with electronic monitoring and ordered to reside at his parents’ home, among other conditions.
Pitchford declined to comment further on the agreement.
A message left for Bowen’s attorney, Robert Mielnick, wasn’t returned Tuesday.
Emily Balser is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Emily at 724-226-4680, [email protected] or via Twitter .