A 26-year-old Canadian man accused of sending pop star Michael Jackson death threats over the Internet pleaded guilty Monday and was sentenced to a year’s probation, the Associated Press reports.
Adrian Poffley reportedly sent threats to Jackson via the Santa Maria Courthouse, where Jackson is being tried for child molestation. The Canadian man was being treated for depression and anxiety, but he had quit taking medication for his condition.
Poffley’s e-mail read in part, “Jackson will not make it to his car. This is a promise. By the way, bulletproof vests are weakest under the arm.”
Following Jackson’s court appearance, Poffley sent a second e-mail that said, “The cop in the green suit and blue shirt was in the way. Maybe next time.”
Authorities for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office took the threats seriously enough to begin an investigation. They traced the e-mails to Bell Canada’s Sympatico Internet service.
Poffley was given a conditional sentence of one year’s probation. If he obeys the terms of his probation, he will not have a criminal record following its completion.
A lawyer for the Canadian man told the court that Poffley is back on his medication. “He’s realized even Michael Jackson is entitled to a presumption of innocence,” the attorney said.