Court: Man's Super Bowl Death Threats Were Legal

Overturns conviction of would-be shooter
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 24, 2010 10:06 AM CDT
Kurt William Havelock, 35, is shown in this undated photo provided by the Maricopa County Sheriff's office.   (AP Photo/Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)

(Newser) – A court has overturned the conviction of a man who threatened to shoot up the 2008 Super Bowl, ruling that the threat was too vague. Kurt William Havelock had sent notes to various media outlets saying he planned a “swift and bloody” shooting. “I will sacrifice your children upon the altar of your excess,” he wrote. He drove to the parking lot with an assault rifle, but ultimately got cold feet and turned himself in.

He was convicted on six counts of mailing threatening letters. But yesterday a court overturned that conviction, because the letters weren’t sent to a specific target. Moreover, the judge ruled that death threats are only illegal if directed at a person, not at an institution or corporation. Wired found the relevant quote from the law, which states that the death threat must be “addressed to any other person.”

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