Kenton chief: 'Hit list' appears to be prank

September 26, 2012

KENTON — Police have determined the hit list found at a middle school last week appears to have been done as a joke, but it’s no laughing matter as the children involved could face time in prison.

“It appears, at this time, that it was just a prank but at the beginning you have to take it serious,” Kenton Police Chief John Vermillion said.

The conclusion the hit list found at Kenton Middle School on Sept. 17 was a prank was based on interviews with the students responsible, Vermillion said.

Still, the notion it was a joke does not play well and likely will be pursued to the full extent of the law, Vermillion said. The charge could include tinducing panic, which could be as high as a second-degree felony.

“Anytime something like this happens we’re going to take it very serious the whole way through and we’re going to vigorously investigate it until we know who they are,” Vermillion said. “In this day and age you just can’t dismiss those things.”

Detectives were wrapping up their investigation and plan to turn it over to the Hardin County Prosecutor’s Office in the next few days. It’s up to the prosecutor to determine the charges that are filed, Vermillion said.

Police have said it appears three students at the middle school were responsible for the note. Those students have been suspended from school and are facing expulsion, Vermillion said.

Police have not identified definite suspects in the copycat incident at Espy Elementary School although investigators have names of possible suspects, Vermillion said.

A student at the middle school found the handwritten note on a hallway floor. It had at least 15 names of students and teachers on it. There was no pattern to the names, Vermillion said.

“It was just random names, it appears,” Vermillion said.

Police and the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office placed officers in the schools after the discovery of the two notes. Officers normally help out with traffic issues outside the school but Vermillion said it was important to have a presence in the schools after the incidents.