Reporting Tony Hanson
Filed underCrime and Justice, Heard On, Local, News, Philadelphia, Syndicated Local, Watch + Listen
By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS)-- A 30-year-old Delaware County man was sentenced to five years in prison for a series of despicable Internet messages, including threats and perverted messages targeting a local personality and her relatives.
The defendant, Justin Vernot, also threatened total strangers, the terminally ill and their families.
Vernot admitted to making the threats under the username “ColdDeadEyes.”
Federal Judge Paul Diamond said, “The defendant made a number of electronic communications or tweets to the victim, threatening to rape and kill her in the presence of her two year old son, then to kill her son as well. He also suggested he was physically stalking her. He used graphic, violent, horrific language.”
Vernot also acknowledged sending other messages through a family medical support website, calling one sick child a “circus freak” and blaming her mother for the child’s condition.
Prosecutor Michael Levy says Vernot’s sentence should send a message to other “Internet trolls.”