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Video – Attorney Spencer Freeman Comments On Claims That PTSD Caused Threats Of School Shooting? Or Is It Just A Convenient Defense?

Video – Attorney Spencer Freeman Comments On Claims That PTSD Caused Threats Of School Shooting? Or Is It Just A Convenient Defense?

Ray Hrdlicka – Host – Attorneys.Media

“Hi, we’re here today with Spencer Freeman, Pierce County criminal defense attorney. Spencer, let’s talk about a news-worthy item that’s been in the Pierce County court system for awhile here. And that is the local high school teacher that has been charged with threats to a student. Now, if you recall, it was because she had a conversation with a counselor within the school system about paying for her PTSD counseling. When she was told that it was going to be denied, that’s when the threats were made. And now she’s arrested. Threats to the students.

Now, given everything that’s been going on today with active shooters, is this a reasonable charge for this individual, or because she’s talking about PTSD, should it be something else?”

Spencer Freeman – Criminal Defense Attorney – Pierce County, WA

“First of all, in light of what’s going on recently, with active shooters, it’s certainly reasonable that something be done. You can’t have these types of threats being made, even though the threats weren’t directly to the students, but the threats were made to do something. You can’t have that go unchecked and unmonitored. I am not so sure that the criminal justice system is the right venue to do that. I think there is some interplay between first amendment rights and the felony harassment statutes that she’s going to be charged under, about whether or not there’s an actual criminal charge here.”

Ray Hrdlicka – Host – Attorneys.Media

“Where is the line for that? Obviously, she made a threat.”

Spencer Freeman – Criminal Defense Attorney – Pierce County, WA

“That’s a discussion for hours and hours of case law research as to what..where that line is. There’s no one definition of that line. So, it’s really fact specific, it’s really case specific. But even if criminal charges could be brought here, the question is…is this the right venue to handle this, as opposed to some sort of other mental health avenue, and addressing that with some sort of civil commitment. Whether a non-voluntary civil commitment is warranted here to a mental health facility because of the actions that she’s threatening and displaying. I’m not so sure the criminal justice systems are actually equipped to handle this, given that there’s a clear mental health problem.”

Ray Hrdlicka – Host – Attorneys.Media

“Well, it may not even take into…effect…the mental health issue, if she gets into the criminal system. And obviously, she’s in it now. And it may not even come into effect when it comes to sentencing or any type of punitive action.”

Spencer Freeman – Criminal Defense Attorney – Pierce County, WA

“It may not. Here in Pierce County, they do have a mental health court. They are trying to implement and utilize mental health, and look at it from a standpoint, and address cases with it. But when you’re talking about this shooting that’s been threatened, it’s a higher level issue that needs to be monitored and taken into account.”

Ray Hrdlicka – Host – Attorneys.Media

“Okay. Thank you for your perspective on that, we’ll keep you updated and have you back.”

Spencer Freeman – Criminal Defense Attorney – Pierce County, WA

“Thank you.”

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