Teen accused of threatening to kill asst. principal

Judge Ruben McGriff, 18, is accused of retaliation, stemming from the public threat he made against the school official's life.

January 20, 2011 5:13:41 PM PST
A high school student was pulled from class for threatening a pregnant assistant principal. Police say the boy threatened the administrator and her unborn child on the Internet.

The student even told police he knew he was going to get in trouble, but he didn't care.

The 18-year-old student's defense attorney says that mental health issues may be involved in this case, but the more immediate problem for the student is a very serious legal one.

His name is Judge Reuben McGriff, and he is both a high school senior and now a defendant.

He's accused of retaliation. The problem began last year when he was removed from Crosby High School and sent to an alternative campus. The district says he had brought prescription drugs to school. McGriff objected, and last week, a YouTube video surfaced in which he allegedly threatened two assistant principals with violence unless he was allowed back to Crosby High. One of the assistant principals is pregnant.

"He also says he's gonna stab her and the baby if they don't return him to school by the end of February," an official read aloud during his probable cause hearing Thursday.

The main evidence against him is the video posted on the web.

"You see it more and more; it happens," prosecutor Bill Exley said. "People put things online, partly because they want other people to see them, but for whatever reason, they also seem to think that it's not going to be seen."

It was certainly seen by the Crosby Independent School District, which notified police as well. It, too, is keeping track of web postings.

"The real thing to be careful about is to look at those things and go, 'Ah they're just in their room, just being silly,'" Crosby ISD Superintendent Dr. Keith Moore said. "No, those are real. That to me is the same as standing in the school house and saying those same words."

It's a lesson McGriff is now learning, even from his own attorney, Steven Greenlee.

"He understands that especially in light of Tucson and other school shootings around the country, yes, something like this will be taken very seriously," Greenlee said.

McGriff remains jailed. His bond has been set at $10,000. If he is released on bond, he will be under house arrest.