UNION, NJ – Union resident Kayla Simone-McKelvey, the woman accused of posting threatening tweets during a Kean University rally, was in court this morning in Elizabeth where she was denied entry into the PTI program. Successful completion of pre-trial intervention, a probationary program, could remove the conviction from the defendant’s record.
In court, Union County Assistant Prosecutor Shawn Barnes said his office rejected the request for McKelvey to enter the PTI program and instead recommended a 180-day jail term in exchange for a guilty plea and restitution for law enforcement overtime costs associated with the threat, although no amount was provided.
McKevley is accused of creating a public alarm in connection with a series of threatening Twitter posts targeting black students at Kean University last November 17. According to the prosecutor’s office, McKelvey participated in a student rally regarding racial issues held on campus, but she left the rally and walked to a computer station located in a university library. She used that time to create an anonymous Twitter account and begin posting racially charged threats of violence against black Kean students, an investigation by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Prosecutions Unit and the Kean University Police Department found.
The Twitter account “@keanuagainstblk” posted such tweets as “I will kill every black male and female at Kean University” and “Kean University there’s a bomb on your campus” and continued with several other tweets about shooting black students at the university.
After making the posts, McKelvey returned to the rally and attempted to spread awareness of the threats she allegedly had just fabricated, the prosecutor's office said. The prosecutor's office said that McKevley never had plans to harm students.
McKevley is scheduled to be back in court on March 23.