A 20-year-old Cal Poly student accused of sending a death threat on Facebook to the leader of a campus tolerance and inclusion group appeared in court on Thursday.
San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Dodie Harman delayed the arraignment of Charles Raymond Bird at the request of his lawyer, who asked for more time to review the case reports and complaint.
Bird was arrested Dec. 4, after allegedly sending a Facebook message to Cal Poly student Matt Klepfer three days earlier, using the online moniker Mordecai Shekelburg. Klepfer is a leader of SLO Solidarity, a group of students pushing for campus change to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment for minorities.
The Facebook note stated, “The day of the rope is coming soon, and you people will be the first to go. If you don’t like how it is in this town, you can go somewhere else. We have a nice thing going here, and if you f*** with that you’re going to have some angry young white man on your hands.” The message ends with an anti-Semitic slur.
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Appearing out of custody, in a sports coat with a blue shirt and no tie, Bird identified himself before the judge. San Luis Obispo lawyer Jeff Stein told Harman that he is representing Bird but hadn’t had time to review the complaint and reports associated with the case.
Prosecutor Jesse Marino told Harman that Stein could have those documents by the end of the day Thursday.
Bird is charged with one count of making felony criminal threats and an enhancement for hate crime. He faces up to six years in state prison if convicted of the charges, according to the District Attorney’s Office. Assistant District Attorney Lee Cunningham said in a statement that Bird is being charged with posting “racial/religious threats on social media sites.”
His new arraignment date is set for Jan. 14 at 8:30 a.m. in Harman's courtroom.
Next court hearing
Charles Raymond Bird is scheduled to appear at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 14 in Judge Dodie Harman’s courtroom.