Original article no longer available
KITCHENER, Ontario – A Canadian man charged with e-mailing a death threat to Michael Jackson pleaded guilty Monday to uttering death threats.
Adrian Poffley, 26, was given a conditional discharge and put on probation for one year.
Poffley, who can’t use e-mail during his probation, will not have a criminal record if he obeys the terms.
The court heard that on Aug. 16, Poffley had been off his medication for depression and anxiety for about a week when he watched Jackson on television enter a courthouse in Santa Maria, California, to face charges of child molestation.
Poffley sent an e-mail to the web site of the Santa Maria Courthouse, government prosecutor Anita Gustin told Justice Margaret Woolcott.
“Jackson will not make it to his car,” the message stated. “This is a promise. By the way, bulletproof vests are weakest under the arm.”
After Jackson’s court appearance, Poffley sent a second e-mail: “The cop in the green suit and blue shirt was in the way. Maybe next time.”
Poffley’s threats caused enough concern for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office to launch an investigation.
The e-mail was traced to Bell Canada’s Sympatico Internet service, which released subscriber information to police.
He’s back on his pills now, and “he’s realized even Michael Jackson is entitled to a presumption of innocence,” Poffley’s lawyer, Sean Safa, told the judge.
Both the prosecutor and defense recommended the conditional discharge.