A teenager from Florida has been arrested after he joked about hiring a hitman in an Instagram message to a fellow student.
18-year-old Nicholas Godfrey, who attends Fivay High School, allegedly attempted to hire a hitman to have a school faculty member ‘eliminated as soon as possible’.
Godfrey has since been charged with first-degree attempt to solicit murder and was taken to the county jail. After being questioned by officers, Godfrey admitted having sent the messages as a ‘joke’.
You can find out more about this story in the following news report:
Officers traced an IP address to Godfrey’s home after they obtained a search warrant for the Instagram account, NBC News reported.
Godfrey had allegedly offered $100,000 ‘for the guy’s head’.
He reportedly wrote:
I need a guy who could kill someone,
[…] No joke, I need him eliminated as soon as possible.
Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco has said Godfrey had no known past issues with this unidentified staff member, who has been provided protection as a precautionary measure, reported the Tampa Bay Times.
Godfrey apparently did not have the means or the intention to actually follow through with the threat, which he told detectives had just been meant as a joke. However, officers are still taking the message seriously.
Sheriff Nocco has reportedly described the threat itself as being a serious crime, regardless of whether or not it was made in jest.
He gave the following statement to reporters on Friday, November 1:
As the victim and their family, imagine getting that notification from the sheriff’s office, ‘Hey we need to protect you’.
This individual may have thought it was funny, maybe thought they were committing a joke. This is not a joke.
Pasco County Schools Superintendent Kurt Browning made the following comments:
It ruined his life by a simple threat on social media.
I was elated that we had apprehended him but very saddened, very saddened by what this young man has just done to the rest of his life.
Godfrey reportedly does not have a disciplinary record, and it is unclear whether or not he has hired an attorney after he was released on bail as of Friday, November 1. Browning has reportedly recommended Godfrey be expelled from Fivay High School.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.