Facebook Threat

One Hamilton County Man is in jail — and will have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in bond to get out.

That’s all because of a violent threat he posted as his Facebook status.

William Heath Skiles is in custody with a 175, 000 bond.
After his wife received a misdemeanor citation, he made what Hamilton County Sheriff Department PIO Janice Atkinson called a ‘death threat’ against a deputy.

"Mr. Skiles had placed a posting on his FB page making threats against one of our deputies and against any law enforcement officer that happened to cross his path," she says.

This comes just a week after the former LAPD officer Chris Dorner made violent facebook threats.
He’s accused of killing 4 people – two of them law enforcement – and injuring 2 others in his spree.
That lead to a manhunt for him, and eventually a standoff where he took his own life.
Atkinson says threats to harm or kill like these are serious.

"Yes we do take it very seriously. The safety of our law enforcement officers is a serious matter. The safety of any law enforcement officer is a serious matter."

Skiles facebook post is now deleted…
But Attorney Robin Flores says any threats or other information are never really gone once you hit ‘send’.

"Once it’s out there you can’t undo it, you can’t unsend it, you can’t unmessage it. It’s there. And you’re stuck to it. There’s an old saying: We’re masters of the spoken word, slave to the written word," he says.

And as for free speech, Flores says that’s not protected by threats of harm.

"It doesn’t matter if it’s on social media like Facebook or Twitter, if it’s a specific threat to a specific person, I could send it on a paper airplane or carrier pigeon," he says.

As for anyone else considering a violent Facebook rant, Atkinson says:

"You see where Mr. Skiles ended up."

Skiles is charged with retaliation for past actions.

Reporting live in the studio, Brittany Shaw, WDEF News 12.

Categories: Local News

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