Florida teen charged in Columbine threat freed on bond
December 22, 1999
MIAMI (CNN) -- The Florida teen-ager charged with threatening violence against Columbine High School over the Internet was released in Fort Myers Wednesday on $100,000 bond.
Michael Ian Campbell, 18, appeared before a federal magistrate who ordered him to receive psychological counseling and forbid him access to computers.
Campbell was also ordered to make an initial appearance on federal charges January 11 in Denver, Colorado.
Columbine High School, scene of a mass shooting in April, is located in the Denver suburb of Littleton.
Campbell faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine if he is convicted of using interstate commerce to threaten injury.
Suspect's troubled school history
During earlier court proceedings, prosecutors presented testimony that Campbell was thrown out of two Florida high schools.
A former principal of Cypress Lake High School testified Campbell was expelled last year for threatening drama teacher Diane Stewart with a firearm. It is unclear whether any criminal charges were filed.
Witnesses testified that Campbell, who has no convictions on his record, was active in community theater.
'I don't want your blood on my hands'
The FBI says Campbell admitted sending an Internet message using the name "Soup 81" to Columbine student Erin Watson from his home in Cape Coral, Florida, on December 15.
The message read: "I need to finish what begun (sic)," according to authorities.
It warned Watson, 16, not to attend school, saying "if you go, I don't want your blood on my hands."
The message also said: "I'm a nobody and soon everybody will know who I am."
Campbell's mother reportedly said that her son told her he sent the message out of boredom.
Columbine postpones final exams
Two Columbine students shot and killed 13 people at the school before taking their own lives last April.
The Internet threat prompted Columbine officials to close the school two days before the winter break last week and to postpone final exams until Janrary.
The school was searched and no dangerous devices were found.
Campbell was arrested in Florida last Friday and had been held without bond. His home computer was confiscated.
The FBI worked with America Online, which provided Internet service to Campbell, to trace the message.
Prosecutors said the arrest should "send a strong message that threats, especially against our schools, will not be tolerated."
Florida man faces federal charge for Columbine Internet threat
The Daily Camera: Tragedy at Columbine
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