Student threatens gun violence at Dowagiac school, gets probation
CASSOPOLIS — A Dowagiac teenager who threatened gun violence against another student at an area school has received a probation sentence.
A staff member at Dowagiac Union High School intercepted a note written by 18-year-old Joshua Clark on Oct. 18, 2012. The note threatened someone’s life with the use of a firearm because that person allegedly owed Clark money.
Judge Michael Dodge sentenced Clark Friday in Cass County Circuit Court to two years probation and credit for time served, 201 days.
“As you probably are aware now… threats of gun violence in a school setting are extremely terrifying and potentially very, very dangerous,” said Dodge. “Hopefully you are now aware and recognize that fact.”
Clark pleaded guilty May 6 to a charge of false report or threat of terrorism, a five-year felony. The plea included an agreement that Clark would receive a probation sentence with credit for time served. Clark also agreed to undergo mental health counseling and have no contact with the victim.
Sentencing guidelines for Clark were 0-3 months, so Clark wound up serving more than twice the maximum amount indicated in the guidelines.
Prior to sentencing, Clark told the court from now on he would be the “most peaceful, law-abiding citizen” he could be.
Clark’s attorney, Greg Feldman, said Clark has learned a lot from this experience.
“Unfortunately, he had to be incarcerated to learn it,” he said.