Judge sentences 23-year-old to join the Army for disruptive Facebook posting
Aug 27, 2010
An Alabama judge has sentenced a former college student to join the
Army and perform community service for a posting on Facebook that led
to a campus lockdown, TheMontgomery Advertiser reports.
Zachary Lambert, 23, agreed to plead guilty to the misdemeanor charge
of harassing communications for suggesting in a Facebook posting in
December that he might try to outdo the deadly shooter at Virginia
Tech in 2007.
The message led to a 45-minute lockdown of Faulkner University.
In announcing her sentence, Montgomery County Circuit Judge Tracy
McCooey told Lambert: "You are going into the military. That is not a choice."
Lambert says he has talked to an Army recruiter who seemed to think
he had a good chance of being able to enlist, the paper says.
He could not join while he is on probation, but the judge, a
self-described "military brat," said she could adjust the terms if
Lambert shows a "good-faith effort" that he is trying to enlist.
Alabama judge sentences man to join military
August 27, 2010
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - A judge sentenced a man to join the military for
posting a provocative Facebook message about the mass killing at
Virginia Tech, but the Army said it doesn't want him until he's off probation.
Originally charged with making a terrorist threat, 23-year-old
Zachary Lambert of Montgomery pleaded guilty to a reduced,
misdemeanor charge of harassing communications. Circuit Judge Tracey
McCooey placed him on probation during a hearing Thursday and ordered
him to perform community service, apologize to the community and join
"Military is a good, good thing for you," the judge told Lambert.
Lambert said he thought he had a good chance of being accepted into
the service. But Army Sgt. Michael Johnson, a recruiter in
Montgomery, said Lambert can't enlist while he is on probation.
McCooey said Lambert's probation can be adjusted if it is an obstacle
to joining the military, but she must see a "good faith effort" that
he is trying to join.
Lambert was a student at Faulkner University in December when he
posted a message on Facebook about breaking the record of the
Virginia Tech shooter, who killed 32 people. Faulkner locked down its
campus for 45 minutes after learning of the message.
Both sides said they were pleased with the sentence.
"I'd say it's an appropriate outcome," said Lambert's attorney, Bill Blanchard.
Deputy District Attorney Scott Green said McCooey's terms were
appropriately strict. "This is a serious set of events, and it needs
to be taken seriously," Green said.
To fulfill his 50 hours of community service Lambert must talk to
schoolchildren about the consequences of what they say online. The
judge said she would accompany him to the appearances.
Ex-Faulkner student pleads guilty to misdemeanor in Facebook case
August 26, 2010
by Scott Johnson
A judge ordered a former Faulkner University student to perform
community service and join the military for an Internet post that led
to a campus lockdown at the school.
Zachary Lambert, 23, had been charged with making a terrorist threat,
a felony, but Thursday agreed to instead plead guilty to harassing
communications, a misdemeanor.
Lambert received a suspended three-month sentence and two years probation.
Judge Tracy McCooey told Lambert that he must speak to schoolchildren
about the importance of being careful what they say on the Internet.
McCooey said she would accompany him for the speaking appearances.
Lambert must complete 50 hours of community service at schools.
He also must join the military as a condition of his probation.
Lambert said he has talked to an Army recruiter.
Lambert was arrested in December after a post on Facebook that made
reference to a deadly shooting at Virginia Tech.
The Faulkner University campus was locked down for about 45 minutes
after someone alerted officials to the post.