A former Oregon State University student accused of posting tweets last month threatening a shooting on OSU’s Corvallis campus is now facing a federal charge, court records show.
The charges against Christopher Adam Strahan in Benton County Circuit Court were dismissed Tuesday. Strahan, who is 22, was released from the county jail.
Strahan has been remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Potter, who is prosecuting the case. Potter said she was unsure where Strahan was being held.
Federal prosecutors charged Strahan on Monday with one count of interstate communication of a threat to injure the person of another. The charge carries a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment upon conviction.
Potter said Strahan appeared Tuesday in federal court in Eugene. Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffin appointed defense attorney Mark Weintraub to represent Strahan. Potter said Strahan will be detained until his next court hearing on Monday.
An Oregon State Police detective arrested Strahan on Feb. 27 at Strahan’s residence in Corvallis, according to a probable cause affidavit written by a FBI federal agent.
According to the agent, the director of public safety at OSU had been notified of threatening posts made by the Twitter username “Hard Belly Dorm.” The public safety department requested from Twitter the identification of the user and were informed the poster had registered using an email address with Christopher Strahan’s name in it, the agent states.
The State Police detective viewed the profile picture associated with the Twitter account and recognized Strahan from an investigation in February 2017, during which time Strahan posted similar threats on Twitter, according to the agent.
Corvallis dispatchers received a call from someone who informed authorities of Strahan’s address, the agent states. State Police troopers and the agent responded to the address and, while there, Strahan arrived in his car. Strahan declined to speak with law enforcement without an attorney present and the State Police detective arrested Strahan, the agent states.
While being transported to the jail, Strahan told law enforcement he would allow officers to search his apartment for weapons, according to the agent. An OSP trooper and the FBI agent searched Strahan’s apartment and did not find any weapons, the agent states. Strahan was booked into the jail on charges of menacing, first-degree disorderly conduct and second-degree disorderly conduct.
Following Strahan’s arrest, university spokesperson Steve Clark said OSU officials monitor social media accounts of members of the OSU community, and that they would start searching around the clock for threatening keywords such as the ones Strahan allegedly used in order to flag threats.
Clark said Strahan was enrolled as a student at OSU from fall term 2014 through winter term 2017.
In February 2017, authorities charged Strahan with menacing and second-degree disorderly conduct for threatening to shoot and kill people on OSU’s campus, Benton County court records show. In that case, Strahan pleaded guilty to second-degree disorderly conduct. A judge sentenced Strahan to 20 days in jail and three years of bench probation.
According to the FBI agent, Strahan was also civilly committed to the state mental hospital for up to six months.