Charges of a felony death threat against former Cal Poly student Charles Raymond Bird have been dropped after a plea deal was made with the San Luis Obispo District Attorney’s Office.
Bird was arrested in December after sending a racially charged death threat to SLO Solidarity student leader Matt Klepfer after the student group released its list of demands to Cal Poly administration. Bird sent the threat under the false name of Mordecai Shekelburg.
Bird, who was 20 at the time of his arrest, originally pled not guilty to the charges of felony death threats with a hate crime enhancement at his arraignment in January, facing a maximum of six years in prison.
According to Assistant District Attorney Lee Cunningham, a plea deal was made on Sept. 22 between Bird and the District Attorney’s office. Bird pled no contest to violating civil rights and making an annoying or threatening telephone call.
That same day, Bird was sentenced to two years of probation. The time he had already served in jail was deducted from his sentence. He was also assigned 200 hours of community work service.
When asked about his opinion on the plea deal, Matt Klepfer revealed he was content with the outcome.
“Throwing someone in jail is useless and that doesn’t do anything in most cases, in my opinion,” political science senior Klepfer said. “If he went to jail, I don’t think that would have done him any good.”
Klepfer hopes the community service could have some positive impact on Bird.
“I was hoping the community service could be targeted in some way. That he would be served with community service and he’d have to serve underserved communities, underrepresented communities, communities of color, something like that,” Klepfer said. “I don’t actually think 200 hours is that much. I actually thought it was going to be a lot more.”
On top of his current sentence, Bird has been expelled from Cal Poly and is no longer allowed to attend a California State University.