A plea has been entered by one of two suspects charged with threatening to shoot up a Whitmore Lake school building.

18-year-old Eric Gordon Deaton and 17-year-old Michael Gage Perks, both of Whitmore Lake, were charged in Washtenaw County Trial Court on charges of false report or threat of terrorism, a felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison. On Monday, Deaton entered a guilty plea, admitting that he had made a statement about shooting up a school that could be interpreted as a threat.

Northfield Township Police received information March 13th from Superintendent Tom DeKeyser regarding a threat to “shoot up a school building” within the district, which was forced to close the following day as officers investigated. Deaton and Perks, along with two other teens, were identified as suspects. Police say they recovered a firearm at Perks’ home.

At his arraignment, Perks said he was a student at FlexTech High School in Brighton. Police previously said all of the suspects are current or past students of Whitmore Lake schools. Charges were denied against a third subject, a 17-year-old male, while a 16-year-old juvenile was released pending further investigation.

Deaton, who was released on bond, will be sentenced June 4th under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, which will give him a clean record if he successfully completes probation. Perks, who is also out on bond, is set for a pre-trial hearing May 14th. (JK)