22-year-old Mikah Kadera, with his attorney Hardy Tate representing him, was arraigned Tuesday morning in 4th Judicial District Court on one count of Felony Blackmail / Extortion, which holds a potential sentence of ten years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both.
Kadera, per a plea agreement with the State, plead “Guilty” to the charge, which stems from an incident that took place on April 20th of this year. Charging documents indicate that on that date, at approximately 9:18 pm, an email threat was directed to the attention of Sheridan County School District 2 Superintendent Craig Dougherty via the school district's website contact page. In the email, the sender threatened to kill Dougherty if he didn't hire back district employees whose contracts would not be renewed this upcoming school year.
Through the district's technology director, Coree Kelly, the email was traced to a computer in Laramie with the IP address account owned by Kadera. Kadera's father, Michael Kadera, a Sheridan Junior High School teacher, had apparently been informed on April 14th this his contract would not be renewed.
The documents state that Detective Brastrup with the Sheridan Police Department spoke with Mikah Kadera on April 29th. He told the detective that he had sent the message, and said he didn't realize it could be traced back to his computer. He told Brastrup that on hearing the news about his father's contract, his anger festered and he sent the message. He added that he knew that what he had done was wrong, and also that his father knew nothing of his actions.
At the arraignment, Judge Fenn heard the terms of the plea agreement from State's attorney Christopher LaRosa, those being deferred adjudication, with Mikah Kadera placed on supervised probation for one to five years in the town where he attends school. He recently transferred from the University of Wyoming to Chadron on a wrestling scholarship, which the judge amended to be included in Kadera's bond, since he would be going out of state.
Sentencing is scheduled for August 26th at 10 a.m.