Jason Thomas was 17 when he was first charged with cyberbullying following the death of 15-year-old fellow Parkway High School student Danielle Cox. He was accused of using a web site to “text bomb” Danielle, sending her more than 100 text messages in January 2011, encouraging her to kill herself. Hours later, she attempted to overdose on over-the-counter pain pills. She survived, was treated and returned to school, but her parents say she continued to struggle with the pain of the cyberbullying. She took her own life on May 24, 2011.
The cyberbullying charge was later upgraded to felony criminal assistance to suicide. Thomas was set to go to trial on that charge. He would have faced up to 10 years in prison if convicted. Instead, he pleaded guilty to the original misdemeanor charge of cyberbullying in a deal that will keep him out of jail.
He was sentenced to 6 months, suspended, 1 year of probation and ordered to serve 24 hours of community service per month. Now 19, Thomas was also ordered to either stay in school full-time or have a full-time job and undergo monthly counseling sessions.