Former Medina student charged in threat is sentenced to 6 months in jail
ALBION – An 18-year-old from Medina who sent threatening text messages last May, saying he would kill other students, was sentenced to six months in county jail today.
Mackenzie Barrett on Oct. 20 pleaded guilty today to making a terrorist threat, which carried a maximum of 2 1/3 to 7 years in state prison. As part of a plea deal, Barrett faced a maximum of one year in jail.
Orleans County Court Judge James Punch gave Barrett half of the maximum sentence as part of the plea. Punch said Barrett showed no signs of following through with the threat, which was sent in text messages to a friend.
Punch said Barrett has an “extremely limited criminal history.”
Barrett was suffering from depression, anxiety and was being bullied at school, his attorney Dominic Saraceno said during sentencing today.
“He did something incredibly stupid (by sending those threatening text messages),” Saraceno said.
Barrett has been in jail the past eight months. He was free to go today, but first had to report to Probation. He will be on Probation the next five years. Punch told Barrett he is not to send any offensive electronic communications and won’t be permitted to possess weapons or ammunition.
The judge denied youthful offender status for Barrett, which would have sealed his record.
“I’m expecting you to deal with your problems,” the judge told Barrett. “If anything like this happens again, state prison is the only option.”
Barrett apologized for the threatening messages in May, and the panic that resulted in the community.
“I didn’t think of the consequences when I did it,” he said. “It was just spur of the moment.”
Barrett may have taken no steps to follow through with the threat, but Punch said the issue was serious, and was emotionally and financially costly to the community.
“We have to take threats seriously,” the judge said. “You can’t just sweep them under the rug.”