Grand Junction man guilty of posting online threats

The Associated Press Updated: September 30, 2013 at 12:14 pm • Published: September 30, 2013

GRAND JUNCTION — A Grand Junction man has been found guilty of posting threats on Facebook about killing police officers and children at a daycare center, despite claims that he was in another country when the remarks were posted.

Defense attorneys said Kenneth Wheeler thought he was safe to write the comments because he was in Italy at the time. The criminal complaint was filed when someone called the Grand Junction Police Department to report the threatening Facebook posts.

Wheeler was convicted on two counts of sending interstate threatening communications. He faces a maximum of five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine on each count.

Wheeler's lawyer told a judge that Wheeler had deleted everyone he friended on Facebook and he wanted the judge to suppress evidence from the Facebook page, but the request was denied, KJCT-TV reported Monday (http://bit.ly/15zCryH).

Wheeler was arrested at Grand Junction Regional Airport when he returned from Italy. The case was handled by Homeland Security and the Grand Junction Police Department.

On Thursday, in federal court, Assistant U.S. Attorney General Colleen Covell said to the jury, "The First Amendment allows you to burn a flag in protest of the government, but it doesn't allow you to threaten to burn the faces of the children of the Grand Junction Police Department."

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Information from: KJCT-TV, http://www.kjct8.com/

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