WJHL.com - Teen charged with impersonating head of Hawkins County schools

Teen charged with impersonating head of Hawkins County schools

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HAWKINS COUNTY, TN (WJHL) -

A 17-year-old is charged with two counts of criminal impersonation in Hawkins County after investigators said he impersonated the Director of Schools and another school employee.

Sheriff Ronnie Lawson said in a press release issued Wednesday that the juvenile sent emails to the area's news stations stating Hawkins County schools would be closed on February 5th.

The school system later confirmed that information was false.

Lawson said the teen admitted to sending the emails and told investigators he went to a spoofing site on the Internet before sending the emails.

News Channel 11 spoke with Director of Schools Charlotte Britton and Detective Daniel Byington, who investigated the case. Both agree they hope this serves as a reminder to students, that these types of actions have serious consequences.

"It is so important for those that are using the social media, to realize that they need to be guarded in what they are sending out and the message that they are sending also," Britton said.

"We started at that time (February), sending out subpoenas to various businesses to get IP addresses and eventually came down with a suspect - went and interviewed him yesterday, and he admitted to actually sending the emails. He went to a spoofing website," Det. Byington said. "He admitted it, I mean he openly admitted to being able to do that. And he was kind of relieved, to finally get it off his chest because he had kept it a secret for so long."

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