Nicholas Jamal Rhodes sentenced in school threat case

Published 1:46 am Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Nicholas Jamal Rhodes will serve at least three years in jail after being found guilty of extortion in writing, linked to a threat made against Lunenburg County schools. The 30-year-old Emporia had been arrested and charged Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022.
Rhodes was sentenced to five years in prison, but the judge suspended two years and 10 months of that sentence. He will be back in court on May 11, to face charges claiming he violated bail conditions before trial.
Extortion in writing is defined as “any person who knowingly communicates, in a writing, including an electronically transmitted communication producing a visual or electronic message, a threat to kill or do bodily injury.” 

Everything from classes to athletic events were canceled Monday, Sept. 13, 2022 in all Lunenburg County schools, after the sheriff’s office received such a threat. The threat, which came in Sunday night through the sheriff’s office’s Facebook page, was vague, but specific enough to be taken seriously, school district officials said at the time.
According to court records and previous statements given by local officials, it appears the situation had more to do with revenge against a former acquaintance than anything related to the school district.
The claim was that Rhodes had been motivated by anger towards an acquaintance and wanted to get that person in trouble. The prosecution alleged that Rhodes gained access to this acquaintance’s old Facebook page, then allegedly used the page to send the threatening message targeting the schools.
In addition to the prison sentence, Nicholas Jamal Rhodes will serve two years of supervised probation once he’s released.