A jury of seven men and five women heard opening statements and witness testimony Monday afternoon in the trial of Austin Kyle Connolly — a former employee of Schreiber Foods accused of making threats to the business on social media.
District Attorney Alan Nash addressed the jury saying the state would prove that Connolly made threats intending to cause fear or bodily injury to employees of Schreiber in June 2017.
“The posts are quite chilling,” Nash said in his opening remarks. “The law prohibits threats of violence and we will show that it was discovered (Connolly) still had an access card (to Schreiber) that had been deactivated. We will show that at 2 a.m. he tried to get into the building during non business hours.”
Connolly allegedly created a post on Facebook that read, “The face you make when you get fired for going to a funeral,” along with a picture of himself holding an assault rifle and wearing military-style attire. The post was shown to the jury.
Nash then projected a picture of the comments that followed the post where one individual wrote, “Easy…Not the kind of thing you put on Social Media man. Be nice Homie…”
Connolly’s response read, “You’re right. I don’t want them to expect it. I mean. I don’t have to use a gun. I know where the ammonia tanks are.”
Connolly is being represented by local attorney Brady Pendleton.
“This case is about a 23-year-old who posted stupid, stupid comments on Facebook,” Pendleton said in his opening remarks. “He really had no intent to do these things.”
The jury continued to hear the state’s witness testimony Monday afternoon and the trial is expected to last one-three days.