On Wednesday Sullivan Central High School student Ira Trey Quesenberry III, 18, of Barger Hollow Road in Blountville, turned himself in to police on a criminal summons for identity theft. Quesenberry was booked and released, with police saying he established a twitter account using Sullivan County Director of Schools Jubal Yennie's name and image.
At that time the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office declined to specify what the offending tweets stated, characterizing the deactivated account's feed as inappropriate for an alleged superintendent of schools. The Times-News conducted an Internet search of cached Twitter accounts, locating messages from Jubal Yennie@JubalYennie and attributing the feed — which included Yennie's picture and profanity laced messages — to Quesenberry and his charge of ID theft.
But that Twitter feed was not the one that prompted the charges against the teen, according to SCSO Det. Matt Price, as police were unaware of it at the time. It is, however, the subject of a new and separate investigation.
Price said the tone of tweets from @JubalYennie are much harsher than those Quesenberry allegedly made to provoke charges, @JYennie. According to Det. Price, Quesenberry's posts did not use profanity and were mostly related to inclement weather — and its desired affect on scheduling for students wanting a day off from school.
A Sullivan Central student who contacted the Times-News, but wished to remain anonymous, quoted two of Quesenberry's alleged posts through the JYennie account which promoted the ID theft charge: "Oh man, those kids are playing in the snow. Those hoodlums" and "Hope you kids are having fun in this supposed to be snow day."
The anonymous student went on to characterize Quesenberry's alleged tweets on the now deactivated account as harmless banter.
But the other bogus Twitter feed that's now under investigation for using Yennie's picture and full name, @JubalYennie, used profanity and made personal attacks against the school system's superintendent.
One of the messages recovered by the Times-News stated, "I hate (expletive) kids." Police are continuing to investigate that Twitter account with charges pending.
Sullivan County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Leslie Earhart says that no matter the nature or intentions of presenting oneself as someone else over the Internet, impersonation is a crime that merits police investigation and charges. Speaking of Quesenberry's alleged account that used his name, Dr. Yennie conceded to the Times-News that, "most of it was harmless.
"The problem is there was an impersonation, nonetheless," said Yennie. "The account was new, but if we hadn’t nipped it in the bud, harmless could have turned to harmful. It’s a strong lesson for the young man to learn."
On Thursday Quesenberry appeared in Bristol court on his charge. His next appearance is scheduled for March.