A former Conway High School student accused of threatening to shoot up the school pleaded guilty Thursday.
Seth Aldren Stone, now 20 years old, pleaded guilty Thursday morning in Faulkner County Circuit Court to one count of first-degree terroristic threatening, the initial charge he was arrested on. Online records show Stone was arrested in February 2017 on suspicion of first-degree terroristic threatening, a class D felony, but that he was later formally charged with falsely making a terrorist threat, a Class B felony.
A bench trial was scheduled to take place before Circuit Judge Charles "Ed" Clawson Jr. on Thursday. However, the defendant ultimately pleaded guilty to the lesser charge and will appear back before Clawson on Sept. 7 for a sentencing hearing. Between now and then, Stone must appear for a pre-sentence investigation hearing.
Stone’s case stems from a February 2017 incident where a Conway High School parent alerted police to several Instagram posts by user seth_rock_studios. According to a probable cause affidavit, police believe the posts were made Feb. 1.
One post features a selfie of a young man holding what appears to be an assault rifle with the caption, “Best senior prank ever 2.0!”
Another shows “a similar looking young man” wearing sunglasses with his hand positioned as if he were holding a gun and pointing it at the camera with the caption, “See you at school tomorrow,” followed by a skull emoji.
The third post was a video that “was only a few seconds long, but in it can be seen the barrel of a gun and piece of wood set up as a target with an orange bulls eye style target drawn in the center,” the affidavit reads. “The video appears to have been recorded by the person holding the gun, based on the angle of the footage and its proximity to the gun.
“What sounds like a young man’s voice can be heard saying, ‘Y’all thought I was playing’ just before the gun is fired. A gunshot can be heard, and a hole appears in the target.”
The video posted included the caption, “Y’all thought I was playing?” followed by the hashtags: #guns, #shotgun and #shootuptheschool.
The parent who alerted authorities identified Stone as the “young man” seen in the posts.
Several family members and friends attended Stone's hearing on Thursday in is support.
Stone's sentencing hearing is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Sept. 7 in Faulkner County Circuit Court. He faces up to six years in prison and potentially could be ordered to pay a fine up to $10,000.