LOCK HAVEN – A resident of Northern Ireland has been charged in the death of 12-year-old Cimarron Thomas, a former resident of Lock Haven, who took his own life in 2018.
A friend of Thomas’s has been organizing a suicide prevention walk in her honor since 2019 at Riverview Park in Clinton County.
Alexander McCartney, a 22-year-old Ulster University student, was charged this week in Belfast Criminal Court with “illegal murder” of Thomas, according to the Belfast Telegraph. McCartney was also accused of threatening a child.
Thomas, who lived in Lock Haven with her family until she was in sixth grade, died by suicide on May 11, 2018, in Bruceton, West Virginia.
According to Telegraph reports, McCartney threatened Thomas between May 7 and May 11 of that year.
After Thomas died, his father Benjamin Jay Thomas, committed suicide in January 2020.
Lawyers representing McCartney in court requested a postponement on Thursday to assess the case against the client, the Telegraph reported. The issue was planned for later this year.
This accusation is only the latest in a long list against McCartney.
He initially faced 410 charges in two indictments, but later his charges were reduced to 193. According to the Telegraph, charges filed separately from those involving Thomas include:
— 77 cases of incitement to sexual activity by a child under 16 years of age.
— 58 charges of blackmail, alleging that the victims threatened to send obscene or compromising photos of themselves.
— 42 cases of making or possessing obscene images of children covering all grades A to C.
— 11 cases including distribution of obscene images, threats, sexual acts of children, possession of prohibited images of children and possession of criminal property.
All charges are believed to have been committed between January 20, 2013 and July 30, 2019.
The Telegraph provided the following details regarding the investigation, which dates back to 2019:
“A previous hearing heard how the investigation into McCartney began in March 2018, when Police Scotland alerted the PSNI to a case involving a 12-year-old girl he had befriended on Snapchat.
Police Scotland claimed a student sent a picture of herself to the defendant, who said if she did not do as asked, her image would be uploaded to the internet.
A police investigation confirmed McCartney’s identity, and when they searched his home, police confiscated his computer and mobile phone, saying officers had found thousands of images of young girls.
After being arrested and questioned, McCartney refused to answer police questions.
He was charged with the first offense in July 2019.
However, in December of the same year, 386 additional charges were brought against him and the prosecutor told the court it was the biggest case in the UK.
Of the 193 charges in criminal court, 58 involved a victim of bullying threatening to send images to McCartney.
Four of the victims were adults, but most were children, and McCartney allegedly contacted them via Snapchat.
In a court hearing before 2019, a lawyer said:
US authorities have now contacted the PSNI to extradite the accused.