Michigan State students charged with false terror threat

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Two Michigan State University students were charged Tuesday with making a false threat against the president of the university, records show.

Jennifer Spicer, 20, from Louisiana

Students Jennifer Spicer, 20, and Rami Souguir, 18, were arraigned in 54B District Court on charges of making a false report or threat of terrorism and using a computer to commit a crime. Both of their bonds were set at $10,000.

The pair are accused of making an online threat against MSU President Samuel Stanley, who took office this month.

Spicer, from Louisiana, and Souguir, of Ann Arbor, are freshman computer science majors, university and police records show.

MSU Police Capt. Doug Monette said the department was notified Monday morning that threats had been made.

Rami Souguir, 18, from Ann Arbor.

"Our officers investigated the incident and on Aug. 27, the two were arrested," he said Wednesday. "Both were arraigned yesterday on charges of making false terrorism threats."

Monette declined to comment further about the charges, saying the department's investigation is ongoing.

"Our investigation is still ongoing and we feel, at this time, the campus is safe," he said.

Following their release Tuesday from the Ingham County Jail, District Court Judge Andrea Larkin ordered the students to not have any contact with each other, Stanley or his family.

Both are also ordered to not be within 500 feet of each other and are not to return to campus, their release records show.

Souguir's lawyer, Mike Nichols, said the students were "grossly overcharged" and suspended from MSU "for what is at worst — if true — a sophomoric prank."

"Like many parents, I dropped off my child at MSU for his first college experience this past weekend ... unlike almost any parents, I had to watch two families grieving in an East Lansing courtroom this week ... as their children were arraigned on two 20-year felony charges."

Nichols said it was disappointing that an MSU dean's office sent an email to Souguir saying he had 24 hours to respond or be suspended. During that time, Souguir was in custody, Nichols said. 

"Such a great kid, so excited to come to the university," Nichols said. "This is so disappointing."

The university did not immediately respond to a request comment Wednesday.

Contact reporter Sarah Rahal at srahal@detroitnews.com or follow her on Twitter: @SarahRahal_