The case involving 19-year-old Jacob A. Wicklund has come to an end with his sentencing on July 27.
On May 9, 2017, Wicklund posted, “This is the day I’ve decided to become a school shooter,” in a private Facebook chatroom called Confessions of Mine. He was charged with making terrorist threats, a class I felony, and on July 17 entered a plea of no contest.
Wicklund was sentenced to four months in jail and will serve 40 days in addition to the 80 he has already served. Wicklund has been held in the Burnett County Jail since the day of arrest.
Upon release, Wicklund will be placed on a three-year probation sentence with eligibility for discharge after one year at the discretion of the Department of Corrections. He is to have no contact with Burnett County schools. In addition, he must pursue a high school diploma or equivalent, undergo a mental health evaluation and comply with medical orders.
Grantsburg High School is not seeking restitution; however, Wicklund is ordered to pay $22.77 to another venue in the matter of a previous theft misdemeanor. Wicklund’s charges will be eligible for expungement if all criteria are met after the probation period.
His final sentence came after both the State and defense offered their recommendations. Bill Norine, representing the State, suggested a six-month jail sentence, three-year probation and the previously mentioned additional criteria. The state recognized that law enforcement maintains Wicklund had no intent to carry out his threat.
Nathan Cockerham, representing Wicklund, suggested one year probation - the minimum for a felony - and an 80-day jail sentence completed through time already served. Cockerham stated the reasoning for this suggestion being, “There are so many mitigating factors. . . it appeared clear that on the day that Mr. Wicklund was apprehended that there was no intent to actually do what he posted on Facebook.”
He reiterated that Wicklund called local law enforcement himself and detailed his location, and was not in possession of a firearm.
Judge Kutz then explained that because of actual shootings, threats like Wicklund’s are “like throwing a rock into the middle of a calm pool. The waves radiate out far and wide.”
Despite law enforcement and the court determining Wicklund had no intention of carrying out his threats, Kutz maintained the threat caused a mass scaring of the entire county, with Grantsburg evacuating every school building, and Siren and Webster going into lock-down.
According to State law, a threat to make or cause death, bodily harm, or to damage property does not automatically constitute a “terroristic” threat. However, Wisconsin law does state that if a threat is made which results in an evacuation of a building and the perpetrator is aware of that risk, then the threat can be deemed terroristic.
Judge Kutz stated this case was more “reckless than intentional.”