From 1,200 miles away, a paralyzed Missouri teen-ager wouldn't seem to pose much of a threat to middle school students in central Massachusetts. But when kids in Townsend, Mass., received menacing online messages and were directed to child pornography sites, they became frightened and alerted authorities.

Prosecutors said they traced the communications to Christian Hunold, 19, in Smithville, Mo. On Oct. 25, Hunold faced charges for distributing pornography to children and making threats. Of most concern, officials said, was a so-called "hit list," where Hunold allegedly named 24 students and three teachers he intended to shoot.

The episode

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