Man arrested in connection to making online threats against a university official

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A man who prosecutors say threatened an Orange County university staffer through email exchanges and a YouTube rant appeared in court Monday.

40-year-old David Kenneth Smith plead not guilty to a charge of making criminal threats. 

Police arrested Smith on Thursday on suspicion of criminal threats. 

Police say Smith threatened a faculty member at Soka University. Smith was a former student of the school. 

The threats were made through a bizarre email exchange with a faculty member as well as several YouTube rants posted in recent weeks. 

Investigators say the emails discussed disciplinary action taken against Smith for marijuana use when he attended the university in 2008.

His YouTube channel also included multiple videos in which the suspect talked about his desire to engage in a “killing spree.” In some of the videos Smith can be seen with a pistol resting on his chest as he talks about his time at Soka. 

“He obviously has some sick fascination with mass shootings which is the scary thing,” said prosecutor Brett Brian. 

In the video, Smith said college employees “never liked me” and described being repeatedly fined for residence hall violations and accused of stealing another student’s belongings. He said he filed complaints with the school against several employees, including a dean.

When he was arrested, sheriffs say they found 9 guns, all registered to Smith and all loaded when he was arrested.

He is being held on $1 million bail. 

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