Facebook user pleads guilty for threatening to kill Obama

As President Obama toured through the south of Florida on a fundraising and speaking tour in February, a University of Miami (UM) student's post on his own Facebook wall was brought to the attention of authorities.

President Obama speaking in 2009.
(Credit: Martin LaMonica/CNET)

His post read:

"If anyone's going to UM to see Obama today, get your phones out and record. 'cause at any moment I'm gonna' put a bullet through his head and you don't wanna' miss that! YouTube!"

Today, 20-year-old Joaquin Amador Serrapio Jr., pleaded guilty in a US District Court to a single count of threatening to kill or harm the President via the social network, according to the Guardian. He could be sentenced for up to five years in federal prison, but his lawyer believes he will get off with less time.

The above message was the second of two status posts involving death threats on the US President, that Serrapio wrote on his Facebook wall, within a three-day period. The first message said, "Who wants to help me assassinate 'Obummer' while he's at UM this week?"

Serrapio's lawyer said that the college student didn't actually intend to hurt the President, but instead, "He wanted to get a reaction from political supporters of President Obama", the Guardian reported. When secret service agents searched Serrapio's home, after being tipped off by someone who saw Serrapio's posts, they found two non-lethal pellet guns and an iPad showing evidence of the threatening posts.

This isn't the first time that Obama has been threatened via the social network. In 2009, a Palo Alto, California-based man created a "Should Obama be killed?" Facebook poll, which was removed by the company when it was brought to the site's attention. And, in 2010, a Facebook group called "Kill Obama" popped up and was on the site for a month, before catching administrator's attention was then taken down.


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