A former Fresno State walk-on football player, who made threats on social media about doing a campus shooting “to release my frustration,” pleaded no contest Friday to a felony charge of making criminal threats.
In a plea deal, Christian Malik Pryor, 18, faces up to 16 months in custody, but could get probation.
Pryor appeared in Fresno Superior Court with his attorney, Sharon Applebaum of Santa Monica.
In accepting the plea agreement, Judge Dennis Peterson told Pryor that he was giving up his right to a trial, his right to confront his accusers and his right not to incriminate himself. Pryor said he understood. The judge also told him that if he were sentenced to probation, and then violated probation, he could face up to three years in prison.
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Pryor will remain free on $20,000 bail until he is sentenced Aug. 19.
The threat, made anonymously on the messaging app Yik Yak, implied the attack would occur Nov. 2 and sent a wave of fear across the Fresno State campus as it was re-posted on other social media sites. The post included a photo of Henry Madden Library, one of the prominent features in the center of the Fresno State campus.
Pryor was arrested later that day in the Duncan Building in the center of Fresno State’s athletic complex.
University officials said Pryor was a walk-on player who had yet to appear in a game. A wide receiver, he was the 2014 team MVP of his Locke High football team in Los Angeles, according to his Fresno State football bio.
University officials have said the online threat was a case of a young man making a bad decision and not an indication of a serious plan.
After his plea, Pryor and Applebaum declined to comment.
According to court records, one of Pryor’s social media posts read in part (original spelling retained): “the time is here. @3PM I will release my frustrations. Tired of dirty looks, get rejected, nd being talked about bc how I dress. My choice of weapon M4 Carbine.”
A tweet at 1:12 p.m. from Pryor’s account, responding to another person’s concern, read: “it sounds like a joke but be safe.” The tweet was later deleted.
Once Fresno State officials learned of the threats, they used Twitter to notify faculty, students and staff.