Former South Burlington student accused of death threats changes plea

Josiah Leach after a court appearance in April

A former South Burlington High School student accused of making death threats has pleaded guilty.

Josiah Leach, 19, was indicted earlier this year for transmitting threatening communications in interstate commerce. He originally pleaded not guilty.

Local 22 & Local 44 Reporter Spencer Conlin was at Friday’s hearing at U.S. District Court in Burlington. He said the plea deal calls for five years probation, which was recommended by the prosecution and defense.

Authorities say Leach sent a kill list to specific students, teachers and staff at the school, which caused several lockdowns, and class cancellations.

“Leach acknowledged his responsibility for all of the April 2017 threats to South Burlington High School, and agreed with the government to recommend a five-year probationary sentence at the time of sentencing,” a press release stated by the Vermont U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Sentencing is scheduled for February 20, 2018.

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