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Man sentenced in township terrorism case



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May 26, 2010 - By Susan Bromley

Staff Writer

A former Brandon student will serve four to 20 years in prison after threatening to kill all the teachers at the alternative high school.

Christopher Thompson was given the sentence on May 20 by Sixth Circuit Court Judge Denise Langford Morris, after he pleaded guilty in March to making a false report of terrorism. Langford Morris also sentenced him to serve 2-and-a-half years to 15 years on a second degree home invasion charge stemming from a separate incident. The sentences are to be served concurrently.

"In light of everything, it's a satisfactory verdict," said Oakland County Sheriff's Office Detective Dale Brown. "It's above the minimum sentencing guidelines and what the totality of the circumstances indicated."

According to police reports, Brandon Alternative High School Principal Pam Schoemer called police about 10:15 a.m., Nov. 16, "extremely concerned" for the safety of students and staff. She told Brown that Thompson, who had a "long list of issues" during his time as a Brandon student, became upset during class and was asked by the teacher to leave the school. His response was that he was going to "return and kill all the teachers."

Thompson left prior to the arrival of police. Schoemer told Oakland County Sheriff's Office Detective Dale Brown she believed that based on past experience with Thompson, his threats were credible and "he is the type who would act on those threats."

Further investigation revealed that Thompson had made a prior threat to kill all the teachers on Nov. 13, with two teachers confirming they had heard him say this following his ejection from class for insubordination. In the police report, one of the teachers noted that Thompson has a "long history of violent outbursts and a very emotionally unstable personality."

Thompson was arrested Nov. 17, after a two-day lockdown of both the H.T. Burt Lifelong Learning Center, where the alternative high school is housed, and Harvey Swanson Elementary, which is in the adjacent building.

The home invasion charge stemmed from a residential break-in that occurred Oct. 15 on Crescent Hill, in which jewelry and $2,500 cash was stolen.

Thompson has also been ordered to pay restitution in that case.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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