Mesa teen arrested for school threat to remain in custody

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- The Mesa teenager arrested for threatening to hurt, kill and murder classmates at Red Mountain High School will remain in custody for the time being.

A judge made the ruling at an emotional detention hearing Friday afternoon attended by the teen, her parents and grandparents. The 16-year-old student could be seen crying and, at times, shaking in court. 

Her attorney, James Padish, described his client as a straight “A” honors student, who’s emotionally troubled.

“This is a kid who needs help,” Padish told the Judge.

Padish says she comes from a loving family who has been proactive in seeking treatment for their daughter.

“This little girl has been in counseling; she’s been dealing with this issue for some time,” said Padish. “Her parents have been on top of it from day one and continue to be on top of it.  She’s under psychiatric care; she’s medicated.”

“It’s quite clear this was a misguided call for help,” said Padish.

The threat was received in the form of a message on a transgender You Tube Channel owned by Alex Haney from Toronto, Canada.

“The message seemed like a cry for help,” Haney told CBC.  Haney said the author of the post used a male name and raised serious concern.

“His message basically said that he had been feeling suicidal for a couple of years, but now it was getting worse, and that he had been having feelings and plans to hurt other people, went into detail about that..(asked) me for help and advice,” Haney told CBC.

Haney called police in Toronto after realizing he couldn't’t handle the situation on his own.

“I wanted to help that person, but I’m really not trained in how to do that, what to say,” Haney told CBC.

The teen who was arrested by Maricopa County Sheriff’s deputies on Wednesday night now faces a felony charge of computer tampering, according to the County Attorney’s Office.

The County Attorney has filed a motion to move the case to adult court based on the teen’s age and the seriousness of the crime, according to a spokesman.

That will be the subject of a hearing scheduled for January 14th.