Philadelphia teen tweeted crime witnesses' information, prosecutors say

Story highlights

  • Teen's tweeting of crime witnesses' data could hurt cases, Philadelphia prosecutor says
  • Nasheen Anderson, 17, is accused of posting information about a 2012 shooting on Twitter
  • He allegedly reposted witnesses' photos from defunct Instagram account, prosecutor says
Social media posts Wednesday landed a Philadelphia teenager in jail after prosecutors accused him of using Twitter to reveal the names of witnesses in court cases.
The case against Nasheen Anderson, 17, who was charged with witness intimidation and making terroristic threats, offers a glimpse into how the reach and power of social media could be used to derail criminal cases.
"The actions of this teenager could have lasting repercussions on untold cases here in Philadelphia," District Attorney Seth Williams said in a statement.
Anderson is accused of posting information related to a 2012 shooting in Southwest Philadelphia on his Twitter account, according to Tasha Jamerson, a spokeswoman for the district attorney.
Anderson also allegedly reposted information from a now-invalid Instagram account known as "Rats215" that listed photos and information about witnesses in Philadelphia criminal cases, according to police spokeswoman Tanya Little.
The owner of the Instagram account is not known, but police were investigating its origin, Little said.
Prosecutors will seek to try Anderson as an adult.
"Witness intimidation has reached near epidemic levels and we are very serious about not only stopping it, but also prosecuting the criminals who are engaging in these despicable actions to fullest extent of the law, " Williams said in the statement.
Anderson was being held at juvenile detention center, and a judge will rule in the coming weeks if he will be tried as an adult, Jamerson said. As of Wednesday afternoon, Anderson did not have an attorney, Jamerson said.