29 July 2009

La Mesa Man Convicted Of Making Threats Against Obama Online

A La Mesa man who posted racially charged comments on Yahoo about killing Barack Obama during the presidential campaign was convicted today of making threats against a major candidate for president.

Walter Bagdasarian - who was indicted in January - faces up to five years in federal prison when he is sentenced Oct. 26 by U.S. District Judge Marilyn Huff. The judge found Bagdasarian guilty on two counts after an hourlong bench trial in which no witnesses were presented. The 47-year-old defendant - who is free on $100,000 bail - left the courtroom without speaking to reporters.

In finding Bagdasarian guilty, Huff said the defendant's Internet postings last Oct. 22 were intended as a threat when they were written. Others who were reading Bagdasarian's writings told him that law enforcement was monitoring the Web site and one reader even told him that he was going to report him, the judge noted.

The writings were subsequently reported to the Secret Service, which tracked them to Bagdasarian's home computer, which was in his wife's name.

Bagdasarian used the computer to post threatening messages on a Yahoo Finance message board, including one that read, "He will have a 50 cal in the head soon," and 20 minutes later posted a message that read "Shoot the n-------," said Assistant U.S. Attorney William Cole.

The defendant also sent e-mail messages containing a link to a YouTube video depicting a vehicle exploding after being hit by a round from a firearm, the prosecutor said. "The defendant admitted that he posted the statement(s) on his home computer," Cole told the judge. "When people make threats, things happen."

During a search of the defendant's home, agents found six weapons, including a .50-caliber rifle, Cole said.

Defense attorney Ezekiel Cortez argued unsuccessfully that Bagdasarian was drunk when he posted the comments in a political discussion chat room last Oct. 22. The attorney said the original comments were made about midnight or 1 a.m., then Bagdasarian came back on the computer at 8 a.m. and said he was drunk hours earlier.


Norfolk Unity asks - if US law enforcement can take action against these racist fruitloops what's stopping the British police from doing the same?

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