By Paul Kurtz

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A local blogger has been ordered to stand trial for allegedly creating web sites that encouraged people to murder police officers and the city’s district attorney.

DA Seth Williams appeared in court today as a witness, to explain why he decided to prosecute 26-year-old Joshua Albert.

Williams testified that Albert’s web pages were not merely idle threats and therefore went beyond his First Amendment right to free speech (see previous story).

“He, on his web site, solicited people by telling them, ‘What’s better than one dead cop?  Two dead cops.  If you kill a cop there will be a high reward.  Go kill a cop, surrender yourself to me, and I will give you 97 percent of the more than the $100,000 reward money that will be set for this case,’ ” DA Williams said afterward.

Fraternal Order of Police local president John McNesby also testified about the web page that Albert allegedly created calling for his murder as well.


(Philadelphia DA Seth Williams, left, and Philadelphia FOP president John McNesby sit outside a city courtroom after testifying about a web site they said threatened both their lives. Credit: Paul Kurtz)


McNesby described the web site as “disgusting” and said his family feared for his life.

Albert faces felony counts of solicitation to commit murder, making terroristic threats, and harrasment. He is being held in lieu of $300,000 bail.

Albert’s attorney said he will argue that his client was engaging in satire and trying to draw attention to himself but did not really want to see anyone killed.