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Man admits to posting threat about congressman on Facebook

October 24, 2018

FREEHOLD, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey man admitted he posted a threatening Facebook message directed toward a sitting Republican congressman.

The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement that 43-year-old Dereal Finklin pleaded guilty to fourth-degree cyber harassment against U.S. Rep. Chris Smith at court Friday in Freehold. The Asbury Park Press reports the prosecutors have agreed to drop a third-degree charge of making terroristic threats and will recommend that Finklin should be sentenced to probation as part of the plea deal.

Smith — who represents parts of Monmouth, Ocean and Mercer counties — says it demonstrates the need to report online threats before they can escalate to real-world violence.

Finklin is scheduled to be sentenced in December.

Smith is currently running for re-election against Democrat Josh Welle.

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Information from: Asbury Park (N.J.) Press, http://www.app.com

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