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Schuylkill County News

Shawn Christy Trial Day 1: Social Media Post Could Be Work of Someone Else, Not Likely

shawn christy trial

McAdoo man Shawn Christy appeared in a Scranton federal courtroom Tuesday as his criminal trial got underway.

Christy stands accused of — in this federal case — threatening President Donald Trump in a Facebook post in early 2018. He then led law enforcement officials on a wild goose chase from here in Schuylkill County, across several states, allegedly into Canada and eventually ending in Ohio.

Along the way, Christy is accused of stealing food, guns, and at least one vehicle, some of which are federal crimes, in addition to threatening the President.

Jurors were picked Monday in the Christy trial, according to reporting from Viktoria Hallikäär (@ViktoriaKrista) from WOLF-TV. The jury consists of 9 women and 5 men. Two of the 14 picked are alternates.

Here’s coverage of the Christy trial from the media on the scene as well as reaction to the events as they’re unfolding.

Shawn Christy Trial: Day 1

It seems the crux of Christy’s defense centers on the idea that the post in which he allegedly threatened to put a bullet in the head of President Trump could have been posted to Facebook by someone else.

Opening Statements from Christy and Prosecutors

Christy represents himself in this case. That usually doesn’t end well for defendants. But as the trial opened on Tuesday, it appears Christy at least has a legitimate argument to make (if you ignore his previous behavior).

Jamie Stover, from WFMZ-TV, notes in this report that Christy believes law enforcement is altering, damaging or hiding evidence that proves he’s right.

Christy’s opening statement lasted about 5 minutes, attempting to counter the case the government has against him.

WBRE-TV reporter Andy Mehalshick notes in this live report that prosecutors call Christy a “one-man crime wave” in the summer of 2018. However, Christy’s questionable actions date further back than the manhunt that keep law enforcement searching for him for months.

Times News reporter Chris Reber adds prosecutors say they have a recorded jailhouse conversation in which they can hear Christy admitting he stole guns and vehicles through the duration of the manhunt against him.

The Threat Against Trump

In an early 2018 Facebook post, Christy allegedly wrote that he’d put a bullet in the head of President Trump. Prosecutors showed the jury this post and others in which Christy allegedly threatens public officials.

That post appears to be taken down by Facebook or Christy. But if you search his profile and the posts since that alleged threat against the President, you’ll see Christy believes he’s tracking federal agents keeping tabs on him.

Christy Questions FBI Evidence

While questioning an FBI officer during the early stages of the trial, Christy asks if it’s possible someone else could have posted the threatening message toward Trump.

Stover notes in her update from the court: “Officer says yes—but to do that, someone would need access to personal info, like photo of hospital band w Christy name on it. Photo of that on Christy’s page.”

Prosecution Turns Family Against Christy

Among those called to testify on Tuesday is Christy’s uncle. He told prosecutors that Christy stole guns from his home in Butler Township while on the run from law enforcement in the summer of 2018.

Prosecutors showed jurors hand-written notes at the scene where Christy allegedly stole guns. The notes indicate Christy is apparently worried about a standoff with law enforcement, whom he says are harassing him since he made the Trump threat and even before that.

We’ll continue to follow the latest from the courtroom in Scranton. Check back each day of the Shawn Christy trial.

WNEP’s Elizabeth Worthington adds this on-scene report:

If you’re on Twitter, you can follow these reporters in the courtroom and updating live:

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