Samuel Davies, a former University of Central Arkansas (UCA) student facing a charge of falsely reporting a terrorist threat, awaits a plea deal from prosecutors.
Davies, 18, was charged following a social media post in October that suggested an act of terrorism was to take place on the university’s campus.
Defense Attorney Otto Fry said he "highly anticipates an offer by the state before [the] next pretrial" on May 16.
Fry told Circuit Judge Charles "Ed" Clawson Jr. that if the defense could not resolve the matter with prosecutors by that date, "we’ll set a trial date."
Davies was taken into custody on suspicion of first-degree terroristic threatening and communicating a threat Oct. 7. He was released on a $15,000 bond and banned from UCA following social media posts he allegedly made Oct. 2 that suggested an act of terrorism.
UCA Police Department (UCAPD) spokesman Sgt. Brad Moore said the initial post that caused concern was not enough to make an arrest, but a second Yik Yak thread led police to take Davies into custody.
The second posting read: "It might be a test now, but it won’t be tomorrow."
The message was posted shortly after the university tested its crisis alert sirens on Tuesday, Oct. 6. The university typically tests its sirens on the first Wednesday of each month.
"Considering what was going on, we chose to test it on Tuesday," Moore said. "We felt that Wednesday was just too sensitive of a day to do it, and it needed to be done."
Campus officials were weary of testing the university’s sirens that Wednesday because of what was written in the initial post to social media, which read: "Fellow yaks, you all seem like good people and I care for you, so if you read this, please stay in your dorms or off campus next Wednesday, I care too much for you all to fall victim of the event."
Moore said that while this post caused a campus scare, it was too vague to make an arrest or label as a threat.
Davies previously pleaded not guilty in court to the pending charges.
Falsely reporting a terrorist act is a Class B felony punishable by up to 20 years.
(Staff writer Marisa Hicks can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at 505-1277. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)