Unity student accused in shooting threat pleads guilty to disorderly conduct

Unity student accused in shooting threat pleads guilty to disorderly conduct

URBANA — A student at Unity High School who admitted he told other students he was "going to shoot up the school" has pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct.

Judge Tom Difanis set a status date of Nov. 22 to review the 15-year-old's case and set his sentencing hearing for Jan. 17.

Disorderly conduct is a Class 4 felony carrying penalties ranging from probation to one to three years in prison.

In the wake of the youth's guilty plea Wednesday, the judge also ordered a psychological evaluation.

State's Attorney Julia Rietz said the youth admitted that he told other students on Oct. 16, and on previous occasions, that he "was going to shoot up the school." The other students reported that to school officials on Oct. 16.

Rietz said the status hearing was scheduled for later this month to "get an idea of what his needs are."

In the course of investigating the boy, it was learned that both his parents lived in Champaign and that he should not have been admitted to the Unity school district.

Rietz said one of the parents had plans to move to that district and supplied the district with a Tolono address but was not actually living there. Rietz said court officials will need to come up with a plan for the youth's future education.

In return for the teen's plea to the disorderly conduct, Rietz agreed to dismiss another charge of falsely making a terrorist threat. That will happen at the time of sentencing.

Champaign County sheriff's deputies investigated the threat, searching the boy's home. No guns, explosives or anything else indicative of a plan to shoot up the school was found.

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