Kenneth Harp, a Cobb County man, has been arrested after being accused of emailing threats to the Cobb County Sheriff, CIA, NSA, Hamas, and Hillary Clinton.
Harp is currently being held at the Cobb County jail on charges of felony terroristic threats.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney, I will give an overview of the criminal offense of terroristic threats in Georgia.
Terroristic Threats in Georgia
Terroristic Threats in Georgia is defined by the Georgia Law as:
A person commits the offense of a terroristic threat when he or she threatens to:
- Commit any crime of violence;
- Release any hazardous substance; or
- Burn or damage property.
The terroristic threat shall be made:
- With the purpose of terrorizing another;
- With the purpose of causing the evacuation of a building, place of assembly, or facility of public transportation;
- With the purpose of otherwise causing serious public inconvenience; or
- In reckless disregard of the risk of causing the terror, evacuation, or inconvenience. O.C.G.A. §16-11-37.
Most of the time, terroristic threats will be punished as a misdemeanor and can include up to one year in jail or up to $1,000 in fines, or both. However, if the threat suggested the death of the threatened individual, the person convicted will be guilty of a felony and will be punished by a fine not to exceed $1,000, a prison term between one and five years, or both.
Furthermore, the penalty will be heightened even more to a fine not to exceed $50,000, prison term between five and twenty years, or both if the threat is made with the intent to retaliate against any person or threaten any person from attending a judicial or administrative proceeding as a witness, attorney, judge, clerk of court, deputy clerk of court, court reporter, community supervision officer, probation officer, or other party or producing any record, document, or another object in a judicial or official proceeding; or providing to a law enforcement officer, community supervision officer, probation officer, prosecuting attorney, or judge any information relating to the commission or possible commission of an offense.
Brent Brown, a law enforcement expert, commented on the incident: “These were direct. They were direct to people. Not just positions but names. You don't make idle threats to public officials. They will come after you and you will go to jail.”
Contact a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer if you or a loved one has been arrested.