Criminal charge filed against Smithfield man suspected of making school threat

Christopher Knowlton jail booking photo (Courtesy: Cache County Jail).

LOGAN — A criminal charge has been filed against a 23-year-old Smithfield man, who is suspected of making a threat against local schools. Christopher Knowlton was booked into the Cache County Jail May 2, where he is still being held on $30,000 bail.

Court records show, Knowlton was charged Wednesday in Smithfield Justice Court with one count of making a threat of violence, a class B misdemeanor. The charge carries a maximum penalty of up to six-months in jail and $1000 fine. He is scheduled to be formally arraigned May 21.

Police allege that Knowlton left an online threat on an FBI webpage earlier this month. The post stated that he was seeking help and if he didn’t get it, he felt he would have the potential to be a school shooter. The threat never gave specific details about a certain school or students.

FBI agents immediately forwarded the message onto the Smithfield City Police Department. Officers went to Knowlton’s home near 182 East 300 North to question him. During their interrogation, he confessed to sending the online message.

As a precaution, officers contacted the school resource officers for both Cache County and Logan City schools to make them aware of the threat. They also forwarded details of the situation to school administrators and staff who, in turn, notified parents throughout the district.

Police report that they have had prior involvements with Knowlton but nothing involving school violence. Court records show in 2015 he was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. He later accepted a plea in abeyance, where he confessed to the infraction and agreed to remain out of trouble instead of a jail sentence. He had also been receiving treatment in a mental hospital in Provo at the time.

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