Richard Kiel

Telephone misuse charge filed in Maryland 'joker' case

Telephone misuse charge filed in Maryland 'joker' case

The Crofton man who police have said called himself "a joker" while threatening a workplace shooting has been charged with a single misdemeanor count of misusing the telephone, authorities said Wednesday.

Police drew national headlines when they announced that Neil Edwin Prescott was in custody, saying they had thwarted a "violent episode" with links to a mass shooting in Aurora, Colo. But on Wednesday, prosecutors found themselves explaining the relatively minor charge as Prescott's friends criticized the handling of the case.

Prince George's County State's Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks said that she believed the telephone offense was...