A Forsyth County teen has now been officially charged in Superior Criminal Court for allegedly threatening to shoot students at Denmark High School in January.
According to recently-filed indictment documents, on Monday, July 8, Cristian Gael Dominguez was charged with a felony count for terroristic threats and a misdemeanor count for disrupting a public school.
Dominguez, 18, was arrested on Jan. 31, after he allegedly told another individual that he intended to use a gun to “do harm” at the school and to himself, Forsyth County Schools Director of Communication Jennifer Caracciolo told the Forsyth County News at the time of Dominguez’s arrest.
Caracciolo said that authorities quickly took Dominguez into custody and confirmed that he had no access to guns.
According to Forsyth County Sheriff's Office Cpl. Doug Rainwater, when questioned by detectives, Dominguez allegedly "didn't deny making the threat."
A social media post by the Sheriff’s Office at the time stated that “at no point was the 17-year-old on the campus of Denmark High School or any other school.”
Caracciolo said that Dominguez was a freshman at Denmark and also previously spent two years as a freshman at West Forsyth High School before transferring to Denmark. She said that Dominguez transferred into the county from Centennial High School in Roswell in 2016.
Before allegedly making threats against Denmark, Caracciolo said that Dominguez withdrew from the school on Jan. 24 to “pursue a GED.”
Dominguez was held in the Forsyth County Jail until March 2019 when he was released on bond.
This case will be presided over by Superior Court Judge David L. Dickinson and will be prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Michael Mahoney.
In a statement to the Forsyth County News, Dominguez’s attorney, Kalpin Shah, said that while he could not discuss the details of the case but is hoping that the charges against his client will soon be dismissed.
Shah said that based on the facts of the case, his client may not have technically violated the necessary elements to be charged with terroristic threats.
If the charges are not dismissed, he expects that his client will enter a not guilty plea at an arraignment in August and opt for a jury trial.
Forsyth County District Attorney Penny Penn told the FCN that her office has no immediate plans for dismissal and fully intends to proceed with their case against Dominguez.
"[Mr. Shah] can file whatever motions he
thinks are appropriate to challenge the case based on the facts or the law, and
we'll respond accordingly," she said.