FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Case # 17HF1442
Date: June 1, 2018
FORMER SOKA UNIVERSITY STUDENT SENTENCED TO THREE YEARS IN STATE PRISON FOR THREATENING MASS SHOOTING ON YOUTUBE AND IN EMAILS
SANTA ANA, Calif. – A former Soka University (Soka) student was sentenced to three years in state prison today for threatening a mass shooting on YouTube and in emails to a staff member.
David Kenneth Smith, 40, Los Angeles
Convicted by a jury on April 19, 2018, of:
- One felony count of criminal threats
Three years in state prison
Circumstances of the Case
- Smith is a former student of Soka who posted videos on YouTube while holding firearms, praising the perpetrators of recent mass shootings, and discussing the possibility of carrying out an attack.
- On Oct. 31, 2017, Smith sent emails to a staff member at Soka that threatened violence and included a link to one of his videos, which shows the defendant lying in his bathtub with a firearm on his chest. In the video, Smith talks about his conflicts with Soka administration while he was attending, and voices his aggression towards the university.
- The staff member reported the messages and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) investigated this case.
- OCSD arrested Smith at his Los Angeles apartment on Nov. 2, 2017. Smith possessed nine loaded firearms at the time of his arrest.
Prosecutor: Senior Deputy District Attorney Brett Brian, Special Prosecutions Unit