ALISO VIEJO (CBSLA/AP) – A 40-year-old man who prosecutors say threatened an Orange County university staffer through bizarre email exchanges and a YouTube channel rant appeared in court Monday.
David Kenneth Smith, 39, pleaded not guilty to a charge of making criminal threats after authorities received a report about an email exchange Smith had with a staff member at Soka University in Aliso Viejo last week.
Investigators say the emails discussed disciplinary action taken against Smith – who was a former student at Soka – for marijuana use when he attended the university in 2008.
The tone of the email correspondence escalated to the point where Smith emailed the staff member a link to a YouTube video that showed him sitting with a semi-automatic pistol on his chest talking about the university, according to authorities..
His YouTube channel also included multiple videos in which the suspect talked about his desire to engage in a “killing spree.” In some of the videos, Smith was seen holding a firearm, investigators said.
In another video, Smith said college employees “never liked me” and described being repeatedly fined for residence hall violations and accused of stealing another student’s belongings. He said he filed complaints with the school against several employees, including a dean.
Investigators said Smith had posted other videos of himself holding weapons and speaking of his desire to kill. Smith was arrested Friday, and authorities recovered nine loaded weapons registered to him.
“There were multiple videos of him talking about killing sprees, and in several videos, he’s carrying a firearm,” Blashaw said. “The threat was credible enough.”
He is being held on $1 million bail.
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