Facebook user pleads guilty for threatening to kill Obama

A Florida college student could get up to five years in federal prison for posting plans to assassinate the president on his Facebook page.

President Obama speaking in 2009. Martin LaMonica/CNET

As President Obama toured through south Florida on a fundraising and speaking tour in February, a Miami college student posted on his own Facebook wall:

"If anyones going to UM to see Obama today, get ur phones out and record. Cause at any moment im gonna put a bullet through his head and u don't wanna miss that! Youtube!"

Today, Joaquin Amador Serrapio Jr., 20, pled guilty in a U.S. District Court to a single count of threatening to kill or harm the president via the social network, according to the Guardian. He could be sentenced up to five years in federal prison, but his lawyer believes he will get off with less time.

The above message was the second of two status posts involving death threats on the president that Serrapio wrote on his Facebook wall within a three-day period. The first message said, "Who wants to help me assassinate Obummer while hes at UM this week?"

Serrapio's lawyer said that the college student didn't actually intend to hurt the president but instead, "He wanted to get a reaction from political supporters of President Obama," according to the Guardian. When secret service agents searched Serrapio's home after being tipped off by someone who saw Serrapio's posts, they found two non-lethal pellet guns and an iPad showing evidence of the threatening posts.

This isn't the first time that Obama has been threatened via the social network. In 2009, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based man created a "Should Obama be Killed?" Facebook poll , which was removed by the company when it was brought to the site's attention. And in 2010, a Facebook group called "Kill Obama" popped up and was on the site for a month before catching administrator's attention and being taken down.

About the author

Dara Kerr, a freelance journalist based in the Bay Area, is fascinated by robots, supercomputers and Internet memes. When not writing about technology and modernity, she likes to travel to far-off countries.

 

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