An 18-year-old woman has received a number of virtual threats after being charged with first-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of another teen over the weekend.
Stephanie Young, 18, of no fixed address, was charged Saturday in the killing of Tammy Couture, of Ottawa, during a fight at a home on Donald Street in the Overbrook neighbourhood the night before, said an Ottawa police news release.
Brent Smout, Couture's boyfriend, told CBC News Monday that the two women got into a dispute during a party in the basement of his house. He said some of Couture's friends have talked about retaliating if Young gets out on bail.
Over the weekend, a number of threats were posted on Young's profile page on Facebook, the social networking site.
One, posted Saturday evening by a male user, reads: "Watch out. You've got hella (sic) problems coming your way if they release you … Me and many people will be waiting for you."
Ottawa Police Const. Isabelle Lemieux said investigators are aware of the threats on Facebook and are looking into them.
"It is a criminal offence to utter any threat, whether it's in writing, in person, or on the internet, and even if you tell somebody else, you don't even tell the person directly," she said.
The officer said many young people who use Facebook are under the mistaken impression that their postings are private, but she reminds users that many messages are accessible to anyone including police.
Young's lawyer, Michael Smith, said he has yet to decide if he'll try to get his client out on bail. If he does, he wants police to first investigate the threats on Facebook.
He said knowing who has made the threats will allow police to ask those people to cease and desist and to monitor their conduct if and when Young is released.
Meanwhile, Tyler Carter, a friend of Young's, thinks people should keep their condemnations to themselves and wait for the trial.
"I don't know how anyone could even say that without knowing the whole story and both sides of the story, especially if they weren't there," he said, while perusing some of the comments on Young's Facebook page.
He added that Young is a nice girl and he was surprised by the charge against her.
"Anytime she had problems, she usually talked to someone about it," he said. "She was really smart. She listened when you wanted to talk to her about things. She had her head on straight. So this was fairly surprising to hear."