The man who threatened violence against students and staff at Freedom High School over several months last fall was sentenced this week in Contra Costa County Superior Court.
Tristen Amir Curl, a 20-year-old resident of Oakley and Austin, Texas, pleaded guilty to stalking and making criminal threats, both felony offenses. Curl was immediately sentenced by the Honorable Judy Johnson as part of a negotiated disposition to the case.
“The sentencing of Mr. Curl will hopefully bring some closure to the Oakley community,” said Kelly Manke, principal of Freedom High School. “I am proud to be the principal of Freedom High School and will continue to work with our students, staff and local resources to ensure safety is our top priority.”
Curl was sentenced to 300 days in county jail, three years felony probation, a 10-year stay-away order from Freedom High School and all schools within the Liberty Union High School District (LUHSD) and fines. The sentencing also included a criminal protective order that names all victims in the case. The terms of the disposition also allow law enforcement officials to search Curl’s computers, cell phone, tablets or other electronic devices for five years. Restitution will also be paid to the LUHSD.
“I think it is difficult to put a value on the impact this event had on our community,” said Oakley Police Chief Eric Christensen. “We routinely work closely with the District Attorney’s Office and always appreciate the opportunity to partner with them, the FBI, Brentwood PD and the Sheriff’s Office. Some good detectives did some really good work, which led to a good outcome. Everyone did their part and this is a result of that effort.”
Charges against Curl were the result of a two-month investigation by the Oakley Police Department, Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office and FBI into a series of threats made on social media. The incident began in September when several underage girls were contacted by an unknown person via social media who threatened to rape and kill them. The same subject later threatened to commit a Columbine-like shooting at Freedom High and then threatened to murder the school principal. In one social media post, Curl, who used a software program to mask his online identity, stated he was 95% sure he would not be caught.
Investigators identified Curl as the suspect and obtained an arrest warrant. He was arrested on Nov. 20 in Austin, where he was attending the University of Texas. Curl was charged Nov. 28 with stalking, making criminal threats and threatening a school official, and was extradited to California in December. He has remained in custody since his arrest.