Anthony Delonis tested his First Amendment rights in federal court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania via Facebook and lost.
The Legal Intelligencer reported that a federal jury on Thursday convicted him of threatening people through Facebook postings including an FBI agent, his estranged wife, the Pennsylvania State Police and the Berks County Sheriff’s Department and a kindergarten class.
The defense claimed he was just venting after his life unraveled, the Intelligencer reported. He was not convicted of threatening his ex-employees and patrons of the amusement park where he had worked.
It all began, according to an FBI affidavit by agent Denise M. Stevens, who stated that Elonis lost his job as a supervisor in the operations department with Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom in Allentown, Pa.
He then started posting threatening notices on his Facebook page, which concerned his former boss Daniel Hall, who contacted the FBI.
On Oct. 19, 2010, according to the affidavit, he posted this: “Someone once told me that I was a firecracker. Nah. I’m a nuclear bomb and Dorney Park just fucked with the timer. If I was the General Manager, I’d be on the hone with Sandusky discussing a damage control plan, but I’m not, and y’all haven’t heard the last of Anthony Elonis.”
He continued to post more threatening notes, resulting in a visit by agent Stevens and another agent.
Last Nov. 30, agent Stevens and agent Van Durme went to visit his home. The agents waited several minutes for him to come out onto the front porch. When he did, he asked if he was free to go. Agent Stevens, according to the affidavit, said yes and he said thank you very much and went back inside and closed the door.
Later that day, Elonis posted on his Facebook page:
“Little Agent Lady. You know your shit is ridiculous. when you have the FBI knockin’ at yo’ door. Little Agent lady stood so close, Took all the strength I had not to turn the bitch ghost, Pull my knife, flick my wrist, and slit her throat, Leave her bleedin’ from her jugular in the arms of her partner (laugher).
“So the next time you knock, you best be serving a warrant, And bring yo’ SWAT and an explosives expert while you’re at it, Cause little did y’all know, I was strapped wit’a bomb, Why do you think it took me so long to get dressed with no shoes on? I was jus’ waitin’ for y’all to handcuff me and pat me down, Touch the detonator in my pocket and we’re all goin’ (BOOM!).”