CRIME

Neil Prescott, planner of alleged Maryland workplace shooting, faces charges

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WASHINGTON (AP/ABC7) - Neil Prescott, the man who is suspected of planning to go on a shooting spree at his Prince George's County employer, will only face state charges of telephone misuse, officials announced Tuesday.

As first reported by ABC 7's Brad Bell, Prescott is only being charged by the state because of a lack of evidence to charge him with anything else and the state's inability to pursue further felony charges.

The misdemeanor charge of telephone misuse carried a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a $500 fine. Federal charges are still possible, but they would not be imposed until after Prescott is released from the hospital.

State's Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said that Prescott obtained all the guns in his massive arsenal legally and that there was not enough evidence to charge him with second degree assault.

In addition, Alsobrooks said that Maryland has no law prohibiting people from making general threats over the telephone and this specific charge of misuse is the closest prosecutors have to work with. She acknowledge the law is not strong enough.

"I believe that when people like Mr. Prescott threaten violence, especially in this day and age with all that's going on right now, he ought to be facing felony charges," Alsobrooks said.

The 28-year-old Crofton man was taken into custody last Friday after the threats were reported to the police.

He remains hospitalized, receiving an emergency psychiatric evaluation at a hospital.

Authorities believe they foiled Prescott's plot to shoot employees at a Pitney Bowes office in Prince George's County on July 27. During a search of his Crofton apartment, authorities found a huge cache of weapons, including more than two dozen guns and at least 40 large boxes of ammunition.

Law enforcement sources say Prescott allegedly called a former co-worker and threatened that he wanted to shoot his former boss. He went so far as to say he wanted to see his supervisor's brains "splattered all over the sidewalk," according to court documents.

“I am a joker and I’m gonna load my guns and blow everybody up,” he allegedly said, according to documents.

It is likely similar federal charges will be filed against Prescott when he's released from the hospital. According to prosecutors, if he is convicted of either state or federal charges or is hospitalized for 30 days, he will not be allowed to own guns again.

ABC 7's Brad Bell contributed to this report.

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