TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - A jury has found a Brownsboro man accused of making a threat against a school on Snapchat not guilty of False Alarm or Report.
The jury returned the verdict for Tyler James McGill, 23, on Tuesday.
McGill was arrested in March of 2018 after the Smith County Sheriff’s Office learned about a Snapchat video in which a person showed two guns and text on the video read, “coming to a school near you.” The sheriff’s office determined there was a Whitehouse/Troup road sign in the video.
McGill was indicted by a Smith County grand jury in 2019 who alleged that he knowingly initiated a report of a future offense involving a public school by posting the video and that he knew the report was false or baseless and would ordinarily cause action by an official agency organized to deal with emergencies, namely the Smith County Sheriff’s Office. His defense attorneys say that during the trial, the testimony showed that McGill did not intend to carry out any offense, and the investigator called his actions reckless and stupid.
“It was originally reported to show Whitehouse and Troup,” said McGill’s attorney, Joseph Murphy. “But it was a blurry sign. The sheriff’s office did its job but the jury determined that, although dumb, it did not give rise to a criminal charge.”
He added that they will now seek to have records related to McGill’s arrest expunged from his record. According to Murphy, “Tyler McGill learned a valuable lesson from this ordeal, and we agree with the jury’s verdict that Tyler’s actions in posting the video did not amount to a criminal offense.”