A 40-year-old man who grew so angry at being unable to find his classes on his first day at St. Paul College that he threatened to shoot school staffers has been sentenced to probation.
Paul J. Moulton of St. Paul was sentenced Wednesday in Ramsey County District Court to two years’ probation after pleading guilty to felony reckless threat of violence in connection with writing a vulgar and threatening Facebook message on Aug. 26, saying his schedule did not correctly list the location of a class. A school staff member saw the post and directed Moulton to the advising center for help.
Moulton soon followed up with a second profane post that said, in part, according to the criminal complaint: “It’s taking just about everything I have not to grab my shotgun and shoot two [expletives] in the face. ... The universe just doesn’t want me to be a ... CNC [computer numeric controlled] machinist.”
With her sentence, Judge Nicole Starr set aside a 360-day jail term in favor of probation, which requires that he receive chemical dependency treatment, undergo a mental health evaluation and not possess firearms, even “toy guns and BB guns,” court records read.
When police caught up with Moulton at the school’s advising center a day after the threats, he was in possession of a folding knife and brass knuckles.
Two women in the advising center said Moulton complained about not being alerted to a classroom location change. The notification went to Moulton’s school e-mail, which he did not realize he had.
Also, Moulton told police he keeps a shotgun at his girlfriend’s home. Police went there and retrieved it.