Discussion:
Well, was the little shit ever prosecuted under the "Malicious Communications Act of 1988"?
(too old to reply)
Byker
2021-07-24 22:47:24 UTC
Permalink
"Someone with a British accent had called emergency services in Sumner
County and reported having shot a woman in the back of the head at Mr.
Herring's address. The caller had threatened to set off pipe bombs at
the front and back doors if officers came, according to federal court
records."

"After he pleaded guilty on March 22, Mr. Sonderman continued to
"conspire with others to harass people online in order to obtain
control of their social media handles," federal prosecutors said in
court records. They did not provide more details and declined to say
whether the minor in the United Kingdom could be extradited to face
charges in Tennessee."
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A Grandfather Died in 'Swatting' Over His Twitter Handle, Officials Say

Maria Cramer

Mark Herring had a fatal heart attack after the police swarmed his
house after a fake emergency call. A Tennessee man was sentenced to
five years in prison in connection with the episode.

July 24, 2021

Mark Herring was at home in Bethpage, Tenn., one night in April 2020
when the police swarmed his house.

Someone with a British accent had called emergency services in Sumner
County and reported having shot a woman in the back of the head at Mr.
Herring's address. The caller had threatened to set off pipe bombs at
the front and back doors if officers came, according to federal court
records.

When the police arrived, they drew their guns and told Mr. Herring, a
60-year-old computer programmer and grandfather of six, to come out
and keep his hands visible.

As he walked out, he lost his balance and fell. He was pronounced dead
that same night at a nearby hospital. The cause of death was a heart
attack, according to court records.

Mr. Herring had been a victim of "swatting," the act of reporting a
fake crime in order to provoke a heavily armed response from the
police.

The caller was a minor living in the United Kingdom, according to
federal prosecutors. But the caller knew Mr. Herring's address because
Shane Sonderman, 20, of Lauderdale County, Tenn., had posted the
information online, prosecutors said.

On Wednesday, Mr. Sonderman was sentenced to five years in prison
after he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy.

"The defendant was part of a chain of events," federal prosecutors
said in court documents. The police "arrived prepared to take on a
life and death situation," prosecutors said. "Mr. Herring died of a
heart attack at gunpoint."

Mr. Sonderman's lawyer, Bryan R. Huffman, said he had argued for a
lesser sentence but believed five years "was fair in light of Shane's
culpability."

"Mr. Sonderman has expressed his remorse on multiple occasions. He has
expressed his regret regarding Mr. Herring's death," Mr. Huffman said
in an email on Saturday. "Mr. Sonderman's family had also expressed
their remorse. There are many families affected by Shane's actions,
including his own family."

Mr. Herring was targeted because he refused to sell his Twitter
handle, @Tennessee, according to his family and prosecutors.

Smart, blunt and plain-spoken, Mr. Herring had loved computers since
he was a teenager and joined Twitter in March 2007, less than a year
after it started, his family said.

He knew people wanted his handle, which he chose because of his love
for the state, where he had been born and raised, and had rebuffed
offers of $3,000 to $4,000 to sell it, his daughter Corinna Fitch, 37,
said in an interview.

"He would laugh it off and say, 'I'm not selling that,'" she said.

The last time Mr. Herring was with his three daughters and their
families was a month before his death, at a Sunday dinner hosted by
his ex-wife, Fran Herring, who had remained friends with Mr. Herring.

Mr. Herring often came over when Ms. Herring was taking care of the
grandchildren and would help bathe them and put them to bed.

"The kids called him Graggie," because they could not say
"granddaddy," Ms. Fitch said.

He called the hours he spent with his grandchildren "Graggie time."

"That was his most precious time," Ms. Fitch said.

Mr. Herring was among at least half a dozen people who were targeted
by Mr. Sonderman and "co-conspirators," who created fake online
accounts to find social media users with catchy names, prosecutors
said. Mr. Sonderman and his co-conspirators would then contact the
holders of those names and ask them to give them up so they could sell
them.

If they refused, "Sonderman and his co-conspirators would bombard the
owner with repeated phone calls and text messages in a campaign of
harassment," prosecutors said.

They'd have food delivered at the person's house or report fires at
their homes, according to court documents.

"Gonna need the instagram account … or I will continue to swat and
harass you and your family," Mr. Sonderman or one of his
co-conspirators wrote in March 2020, according to court documents.

On April 27, 2020, Mr. Sonderman posted the names and addresses of Mr.
Herring and his family members on Discord, a texting and talking app.
That night, a minor in the United Kingdom made a call falsely
reporting a murder at Mr. Herring's address. (In a statement, Discord
said the company has "zero-tolerance for illegal activity on our
service, including cases like this that involve swatting, and have
invested in dedicated resources to combat these forms of abuse.")

When the police responded to the false report, they ordered Mr.
Herring to climb over the tall cattle gate around his property,
according to his family. He offered to open the gate door, but they
refused to let him do so, likely because they feared a bomb would go
off, said Mr. Herring's son-in-law Greg Hooge.

Too big to climb over, Mr. Herring struggled to squeeze his large
frame under the fence, which had an opening of about one foot above
the ground, Mr. Hooge said.

He collapsed soon after he stood back up, Mr. Hooge said. Mr.
Herring's relatives said they had asked for copies of police reports
and any body camera footage taken by the authorities on the night of
April 27. They said those requests had been denied.

In a statement, Joseph C. Murphy Jr., acting United States Attorney
for the Western District of Tennessee, said his office would continue
to investigate swatting episodes.

"Our office views 'swatting' as serious criminal conduct," Mr. Murphy
said. "It needlessly and dangerously ties up first responder resources
and disrupts the lives of the victims and others."

After he pleaded guilty on March 22, Mr. Sonderman continued to
"conspire with others to harass people online in order to obtain
control of their social media handles," federal prosecutors said in
court records. They did not provide more details and declined to say
whether the minor in the United Kingdom could be extradited to face
charges in Tennessee.
James Morrison
2021-07-24 23:19:32 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 24 Jul 2021 17:47:24 -0500
Post by Byker
They did not provide more details and declined to say
whether the minor in the United Kingdom could be extradited to face
charges in Tennessee.
The bastard should be extradited, probably won't because of the cost.
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