CORUNNA — Samantha Skutt was sentenced to three months in jail Friday for using fake social media accounts to make threats on Sept.11, 2018, toward her ex-boyfriend, who was a student at Owosso Lincoln High School at the time.
Skutt, 19, of Corunna, was sentenced by 35th Circuit Court Judge Matthew Stewart, three years probation and ordered to pay court costs and fines. Skutt was given credit for two days served. Stewart also ordered Skutt to undergo an assessment by Shiawassee County Health and Wellness.
Skutt was charged March 19 with falsely reporting a felony after an investigation by Owosso police, who were able to identify fake social media accounts, which were traced to Skutt’s phone’s IP address. She had made threats toward her ex-boyfriend, a Lincoln student and, as a result, the school was locked down.
She was arraigned in 66th District Court March 29 by Judge Terrance Dignan; she pleaded not guilty. Court records indicate she posted a $5,000 cash/surety bond April 1, and she was free since that time while waiting for disposition of the charge.
At a plea hearing June 26, Skutt agreed to plead guilty to reduced charges of attempted false reporting of a felony, significantly reducing the length of incarceration she would be exposed to.
At Friday’s sentencing, defense attorney Doug Corwin asked the court for leniency, and noted Skutt had been attending mental health counseling while awaiting sentencing in the case.
“I’d ask the court to sentence her to the bottom of the guidelines, this is her first felony,” he said. “She’s taken it upon herself to attend counseling.”
Prosecutor Deana Finnegan noted the amount of resources that were diverted to investigate Skutt’s false claims, and asked for a period of incarceration.
“The resources that went into this false stalking report, it angers me,” Finnegan said. “We have a lot of other things going on in Owosso and Shiawassee County, such as drug dealers, home invasions, drunk drivers, and those resources were diverted… She’s mad at an ex-boyfriend and wants to get him in trouble… Folks in the community understand we don’t file false reports and waste our resources on bad breakups or ‘let’s get even’ with someone else.”
Skutt apologized to the court and admitted responsibility.
“I know I made a mistake most people don’t make and that what I did was very terrible,” Skutt said. “I have a lot of work to do on myself, which I have been making progress on.”
“Mrs. Finnegan is absolutely correct,” Stewart said. “You had a lot of resources pooled to try and get your assailant. And then, come to find out, the assailant really was you.
“And this isn’t the first time you’ve done this. You’ve done this before. This court wishes to leave an impression on you it hopes will last, and this is the last time you create a fake profile to get your ex-boyfriend in trouble.”