After his charges were reduced from making a terroristic threat to inducing panic during the tail end of last year, Ohio University student Nickolaus Russell pleaded guilty to the fifth-degree felony on Jan. 6.
Russell also pleaded guilty to possessing criminal tools, another fifth-degree felony, according to Athens County Court of Common Pleas documents.
The court mandated that Russell enter the Athens County Empowerment Program, a program run by the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office. According to the prosecutor’s office website, it is a “rehabilitation program offered to certain individuals who have been charged with low-level offenses and have no prior felony criminal record.”
One stipulation of getting into the program is that defendants must plead guilty.
If a defendant completes the up to two-year program, his or her record is wiped clean and all charges are dropped, according to the prosecutor’s office website.
Russell will be charged the full cost of the program, a total of $625, along with additional court costs, according to common pleas court documents.
Additionally, Russell was ordered to pay an $850 restitution to the Ohio University Police Department. Russell was originally arrested on Oct. 16 for threatening to “kill a cop” on social media.
The court also ordered Russell to forfeit his computer and phone to OUPD.
If Russell does not complete the Athens County Empowerment Program, he could face a maximum of two years in prison.
Russell was originally charged with making terroristic threats and possession of LSD on Oct. 16.
He appeared in Athens County Municipal Court on Oct. 26, where he waived his preliminary trial. His case was then moved to the common pleas court.
On Dec. 16, Russell’s charges were amended. He originally faced up to four years in prison.