Judge orders South Burlington teen to jail time

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) The teen who wrote a kill list shutting down South Burlington High School may have pushed his luck too far. After his latest antics, a potential plea deal has turned into three months behind bars.

In October 19-year old Josiah Leach agreed to plead guilty to threatening by electronic means. In exchange he was to serve five years on probation and undergo mental health treatment. Leach is the one who sent eight threats via email, Facebook and phone to kill or harm South Burlington High School students and staff. That sent the community into crisis mode, shutting down the school for several days.

He's been receiving mental health treatment for the last six months at the Howard Center in Burlington. Now federal prosecutors say Leach set off three stink bombs at the Howard Center on three separate occasions. The government says the odor and intensity of the stink bombs forced staff and patients to evacuate. The Howard Center kicked him out of treatment.

Leach's lawyer says there is no concrete evidence Leach set off the stink bombs, but Judge Geoffrey Crawford says there is clear and convincing evidence it was Leach. Crawford went on to say the disruption was uncomfortably similar to threats Leach made against South Burlington High School students and staff.

This is not the first time Leach has violated a court order. After he was first charged with making threats against his school, prosecutors say Leach posed as someone else on Facebook and posted a fake confession.

If Leach had followed the rules, a judge was set to sign off on that plea deal, keeping the teen out of prison. He would have spent five years on probation and undergo treatment. Instead, he was sent to prison Friday, and when he's sentenced in February the judge could force him to spend all five of those years behind bars.