Trial Set for Man Who Made Threats on Twitter

David Lenio scheduled to appear in court after Jan. 19

By Justin Franz
David Joseph Lenio shouts at media as he makes his initial appearance at Flathead County Justice Court on Feb. 19, 2015. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

The Kalispell man who allegedly threatened to shoot up a school and assassinate local Jewish leaders is set to go to trial in late January.

David Lenio’s attorney and county prosecutors met for a pre-trial conference on Dec. 2. Public Defender Brent Getty said the trial would take up to five days and will start sometime after Jan. 19.

Lenio was originally supposed to go to trial in November but just days before it was supposed to start, Getty filed a motion to continue. In it, Getty wrote a plea deal was in the works and that it was possible that a trial could be averted.

The motion prompted speculation that the felony intimidation charge against Lenio could be reduced to a misdemeanor or a deferred prosecution. Soon after, a small protest was held outside of the Flathead County Justice Center and an online petition urged County Attorney Ed Corrigan to take the case to trial. Since then, the likelihood of a plea deal has faded.

Lenio was arrested last winter after he sent a series of threatening messages on Twitter. On Feb. 16, he told police that he was “trying to bring attention to certain social issues,” according to court documents.

Lenio spent five months in the Flathead County Detention Center before being released into the custody of his family in Michigan.

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