Clarke upset over lack of charges in Facebook death threat case
MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee man threatened a radio talk show host with death and worse. However, the Milwaukee County District Attorney refuses to criminally charge the man.
Four months ago, the D.A.’s office charged 24-year-old Timothy DeMeuse with a county ordinance violation for making a death threat on his Facebook wall.
The threat was directed at WISN radio host Vicki McKenna.
The sheriff says DeMeuse wrote things on his private Facebook like “here’s your real death threat” and “I hope someone kills you” among other, more serious things.
The district attorney says his hands are tied when it comes to how messages are posted to sites like Facebook. But that message is upsetting to Sheriff David Clarke.
“You can’t threaten to shoot somebody in the head and rape their dead corpse and have that be to the level of a parking ticket,” Sheriff Clarke Monday said.
Sheriff Clarke wanted criminal charges for the threats, as did McKenna. She reacted to the ruling on her Facebook page saying, “Lessons I learned: it matters who the victim is. If you’re not in the right class of victim, you don’t count. (A similar case in Dane County resulted in a felony conviction for a guy accused of threatening a DOJ employee on Facebook).”
Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm agrees the threat messages were serious, but argues state law does not support criminal charges. He says since the threats by DeMeuse were sent to McKenna by someone else, there’s nothing he can do.
“A direct threat would have been a totally different story and we would have, in all likelihood, issued criminal charges,” Chisholm said.
Up to this point, the sheriff’s department has not issued a citation to DeMeuse. However, their attorney in court Monday said one is now forthcoming since their final appeal was rejected.
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