Twitter suspect to face misdemeanor in hearing September 12


William Koberna and his attorney Paul Cristallo are addressed by Judge Barbara Oswick during a hearing Friday morning in the Kent Municipal Court. Koberna is no longer facing felony charges of inducing panic after making threats on Twitter of “shooting up” Kent State University. Koberna is now facing a charge of telecommunications harassment, a first-degree misdemeanor. Photo by Matt Hafley.

Daniel Moore

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect the latest information. Koberna’s hearing was originally scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 28, but it was changed to Wednesday, Sept. 12.

The Kent State sophomore who tweeted a threat last month to “shoot up” Kent State will appear in Portage County Municipal Court Tuesday.

William L. Koberna, 19, of Brunswick faces a charge of telecommunications harassment — a first-degree misdemeanor — after allegedly posting a 17-word, profanity-laced message to Twitter that mentioned President Lefton’s name.

Made public July 25, the message was seen by an unidentified Kent State employee who notified police.

Kent State police arrested Koberna at his Brunswick home four days later and held him on a $50,000 bond.

On July 31, Kent State placed Koberna on “interim suspension” as he posted part of his bond.

At his first court appearance Aug. 3, a grand jury dropped the original charges of inducing panic, a fifth-degree felony, and aggravated menacing, a first-degree misdemeanor, and replaced it with the telecommunications harassment. He was also released from GPS tracking but banned from campus.

Prosecutors and lawyers for Koberna were not available for comment late Monday.

Contact Daniel Moore at [email protected].