At a Tuesday court hearing, Eric Yee ’12 pled not guilty to one count of illegal weapon possession after police responding to threatening comments Yee allegedly made about children discovered an assault rifle in Yee’s house last September.
Officers searching his house found a Heckler & Koch M-94 assault rifle in his Santa Clarita, Calif. residence, which he shares with his parents. Yee appeared at his Tuesday court hearing in San Fernando, Calif. in a surgical mask, which his lawyer said was necessary because Yee had contracted chicken pox.
Officers showed up at Yee’s residence in September shortly after he allegedly wrote that he was “watching kids and did not mind murdering them” in an online comment on ESPN’s website.
Yee had been released from jail on $100,000 bail, which was originally set at $1 million. Prosecutors have considered filing charges against the former Yalie for making terrorist threats, but Yee’s attorney David Wallin said he believes there is no argument behind the charge.
“There has to be some specificity in the alleged victim,” Wallin told ABC News. “Here, he just said I am going to shoot kids, and because there is no specificity, you cannot have a criminal threat against just every kid in the United States.”
Yee, who is due back in court Nov. 28, could not be reached for comment Tuesday night. His parents, when reached by phone, declined to comment.
Though authorities did not fully disclose the content of the threat, an ESPN spokesman said Yee was writing in response to a Sept. 13 ESPN story about new Nike sneakers retailing for $279 — a price that other readers commented might lead to children getting killed.
Yee was expected to graduate last May with a degree in economics but withdrew from the University.