Jason Thomas yesterday entered a plea of guilty to Cyber Bullying in Bossier District Court. Thomas was charged in the case of Danielle Cox.
For those not familiar with the case, Danielle was diabetic and had severe mood swings. She had threatened suicide, and a friend posted her cell phone number on Facebook asking friends to text Danielle and encourage her. Thomas saw the post and sent over 100 text messages urging Danielle to kill herself. He used a program that allowed each message to show that it came from a different person.
Thomas offered a (short) apology to Danielle's family in open court as a condition of the plea. A family member said that they were satisfied with the plea and that the DA's office had stayed in touch with them throughout the process. The family is not happy that Judge Nerren agreed to consider an Article 894 at a later date. Article 894 allows the conviction to go off the record.
Thomas was originally charged with Cyber Bullying, which was later amended to a charge of Criminal Assistance to Suicide.
This is the entry from the Bossier Parish Clerk of Court's office on the court appearance yesterday:
Defendant Name: THOMAS, JASON PATRICK
Jason Patrick Thomas present in open Court with Elton Richey withdrew former plea of not guilty and entered a plea of guilty to the amended charge of MISDEMEANOR CYBER BULLYING (14:40.7). Defendant is sentenced by the Court to pay a fine of $500 and cost pro-rated over the first 6 months of probation or serve 60 days in the parish jail. Additional 6 months parish jail sentence is imposed and suspended. Defendant is placed on 1 year supervised probation with all the standard conditions of probation under Article 895 to apply and the following special conditions: pay a $75 monthly supervision fee; enroll in and remain in counseling on a monthly basis as recommended by Dr. Vigen; agree to release counseling sessions to the Court for review; 24 hours a month of community service and continue until further ordered by the Court; continue to be enrolled in school full time or be employed full time. Case is set for review on June 10, 2014 with proof of community service and written reports from counselor to be provided to the Court at that time. Defense counsel requested the Court consider this sentence pursuant to Article 894. State opposed. Court advised the sentence being pursuant to Article 894 shall be considered at a later date. Victims are present and notified of the review date set in open Court. Matt Altimus is present on behalf of the State. (Nerren)