According to WLBT, on April 27, campus police at the University of Mississippi received reports of threats made by Kendrick Ford, a 36-year-old student, targeting faculty and staff members. Recognizing the seriousness of the situation, the university responded promptly, contacting the appropriate authorities to investigate the matter. Campus police located Ford shortly after the incident and launched a thorough investigation into the allegations.
Legal Consequences and Arrest
Upon concluding their investigation, the University of Mississippi’s Police Department formally charged Ford with making a terroristic threat. In Mississippi, making a terroristic threat is a serious criminal offense with significant legal implications. Mississippi’s Terroristic Threat law is found under § 97-7-75. This offense occurs when an individual makes a deliberate threat to commit a violent crime or cause bodily harm to another person. The threat becomes criminal when it creates a reasonable expectation or fear that the offense will be committed in the immediate future. To be considered a terroristic threat, the person making the threat must have the intent to intimidate or coerce either a civilian population or a specific segment of it. They may also intend to influence or affect the policy or conduct of a government unit, educational institution, business, or another segment of the civilian population through intimidation or coercion.
It is important to note that it is not a valid defense to claim that, at the time the threat was made, the defendant lacked the intention or ability to carry out the specified offense. Even if the threat was not directed towards the person who was the intended victim or subject of the threatened act, it does not absolve the offender of their legal responsibility. In some cases, simply stating the threatening words can be considered a crime.
The consequences for a conviction of making a terroristic threat in Mississippi are severe. This offense is classified as a felony, which carries a potential punishment of imprisonment for up to 10 years. The custodial sentence is served under the control of the Mississippi Department of Corrections.
The state’s legal intention is clear: to deter and address any act or communication that instills fear, panic, or disruption within society. By imposing strict penalties, the state aims to protect the safety and well-being of its residents while maintaining social order. The legislation surrounding terroristic threats in Mississippi emphasizes the importance of maintaining public safety, upholding the rule of law, and ensuring the smooth functioning of government, educational institutions, businesses, and the general civilian population. It serves as a reminder that threats of violence and coercion will not be tolerated, regardless of the perpetrator’s actual intent or capability to carry out the threatened act.
In instances involving threats made by students, it is crucial to address underlying issues such as mental health concerns. Providing access to mental health resources and support services can help identify and assist students who may be struggling. A holistic approach to campus security involves not only punitive measures but also proactive measures to support the well-being and overall mental health of students.
The legal framework in Mississippi serves as a strong deterrent against making terroristic threats, aiming to create an environment where individuals can feel safe and secure. The recent arrest and charges filed against Kendrick Ford at Ole Miss serve as a reminder that making terroristic threats within educational institutions carries severe consequences that an experienced and professional attorney can assist with. It is crucial for all members of society to understand the severity of such threats and to seek legal counsel in doing so.
Have you or a loved one been accused of making a terroristic threat?
If you have been searching the Mississippi area for a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney, look no further than Vic Carmody Jr., P.A. over the years, we have helped numerous defendants pursue favorable outcomes. Although being accused of a terroristic threat is not a pleasant experience, there are many potential defense strategies that can be used to defend and lessen the effects of this type of case. Call us today for your free consultation to learn more and get started.
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The content of this blog post, along with all other materials available on this website, is provided by Vic Carmody Jr., P. A. for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Communication or information exchanged through this website does not establish or create an attorney-client relationship. It is important to recognize that legal matters are inherently complex, and each case has its own unique set of facts and circumstances. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you seek professional legal counsel to address your individual case or any concerns you may have regarding criminal charges in Mississippi.