A former Kean University student has admitted to being responsible for a series of threatening Twitter posts targeting black students at the University last fall, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Monday.
On Monday morning, appearing before state Superior Court Judge William Daniel, 25-year-old Kayla McKelvey of Union Township pleaded guilty to a single count of third-degree creating a false public alarm.
An intensive joint investigation by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Prosecutions Unit and the Kean University Police Department revealed that McKelvey, a self-proclaimed activist, participated in an on-campus student rally regarding racial issues held on the evening of Tuesday, November 17, 2015, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Shawn Barnes, who prosecuted the case. McKelvey left the rally midway through, however, and headed to a computer station located in a nearby university library, Barnes said.
Once there, McKelvey created an anonymous Twitter account and began posting racially charged threats of violence against black Kean students. One such tweet, which was specifically addressed to the Twitter account of the Kean University Police Department, she acknowledged in court Monday morning, read “@kupolice I will kill all the blacks tonight, tomorrow and any other day if they go to Kean University.”
After making the posts, the investigation revealed, McKelvey immediately returned to the rally and attempted to spread awareness of the threats she had just fabricated. The investigation further revealed that there was never any actual plan to harm students.
Sentencing in the case has been set for Friday, June 17, 2016 before state Superior Court Judge Robert J. Mega, at which time the State will recommend McKelvey receive a term of up to 90 days in Union County Jail and agree to pay restitution of approximately $82,000 to cover the costs of the police response and heightened security at Kean during the several days after the threatening posts were made.