Student charged with terrorist threats appears terrified in court

gort-in-ctA Michigan State University student charged with making a pair of terror threats on campus was in court Friday morning.

Sydney Gort, 23, heard the prosecution lay out their case against her in front of a judge.

Police say she scrawled a threatening message on a wall of the MSU Packaging building last week, and they say she made a similar one back in April.

You could see the concern on the face of Gort in the courtroom. She watched silently as her defense attorney pleased with the judge to allow her to drop off her quarter-million dollar bond, and be let out of jail with an electronic tether.

But, Russel Church with the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office went into detail about why he says she left the threat and what prompted it.

“The threat that we’re dealing with, which is essentially I will strike one out of every three females who come into this building tomorrow,” Russel Church said.

Church describes the disturbing message Sydney Gort is accused of writing at the packaging building on MSU’s campus last week.

Gort is facing two counts of making a terror threat because officials say, this wasn’t the first time she’s done it.

“In April, Ms. Gort reported to the MSU police, [well] called 911 to report a bomb threat that was also on a bathroom stall in the very same building that said “I will blow this place up..tick tock,” Church said. “Interestingly she had exams in that building on both of those days when those complaints were made.”

Gort looked terrified, at times crying during the hearing as her attorney asked for a lower bond amount and sentence.

“Sydney is 23 years old, was a student at Michigan State, she has no criminal record,” Ryan Berman, the attorney representing Sydney Gort said. “I don’t believe she’s a danger to the community, she will come back to, she’s not a flight risk, she has ties to the community.”

Berman said he had letters from Gort’s family members and boyfriend justifying her character, alleging she didn’t have the tools to commit such a crime.

“I don’t want to take light of the situation, but I think the only thing she’s a threat to is a bathroom stall,  I’m sorry,” Berman said.

Neither the prosecutor, nor judge, agreed.

“This is a young woman who has a history of threatening people, and not just threatening them, but threatening them in very extreme and violent ways,” Church said.

The judge wouldn’t sign-off on Gort’s lawyers request to let her out of jail with an electronic tether, until her next hearing.

Gort will be back in court just before Christmas.


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