HARTFORD, Conn. – A University of Connecticut student committed an act terrorism by posting Internet messages telling people to "stop the snitching" after the stabbing death of football player Jasper Howard, university police said Thursday.
Christopher Mutchler, an 18-year-old freshman from Wethersfield, faces charges of hindering prosecution, committing an act of terrorism and several misdemeanors. He is due in court Nov. 10.
The messages were found Oct. 20, posted on an ESPNU news page about the stabbing and a Facebook wall set up for mourners to leave condolence messages.
"STOP the snitching and post the names of anyone you know who gave information to the cops," read one profanity-laced posting on the ESPNU site. "Jazz didnt deserve do die the person who killed him didnt intend to kill HIM anyone who snitched should face the social consequences."
Over 8,000 people visited the Facebook wall, and police say they had reason to believe the messages were instilling fear and preventing witnesses from coming forward.
"Although his motive for the postings was unclear, it has been determined that Mutchler had no link or relation to others arrested in this case and his threats were termed empty threats," UConn police said in a news release.
A man answering the phone at Mutchler's house Thursday would not comment.
A Bloomfield man, 21-year-old John Lomax III, was charged this week with murder. He is being held on a $2 million bond as is due back in court on Nov. 13.
Two of his friends also face charges. Hakim Muhammad, 20, of Bloomfield, is charged with conspiracy to commit assault, and Johnny Hood, 21, of Hartford, is accused of interfering with police and breach of peace.
A fourth man, Jamal Todd, 21, of Hartford, is accused of pulling the fire alarm at the dance. He faces charges of falsely reporting an incident and reckless endangerment.
None of those four are UConn students.
The university is investigating to determine whether Mutchler violated its code of conduct, said spokesman Mike Kirk. If he is found in violation, he could face punishment ranging from a warning to expulsion from the school, Kirk said.