Man gets probation in threat to La. governor
By BOB JACKSON
VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- People looking at Jeffrey Nelson's e-mail profile might have done a double-take.
Among his hobbies he listed such things as skateboarding and going to movies. His occupations, though, were "serial killer" and "slave to society."
In a space reserved for his photograph he'd placed an animated picture of a devil.
Nelson is a fan of the National Football League's New Orleans Saints team -- so much of a fan, in fact, that he threatened to "hunt down and kill" Louisiana Gov. Michael Foster if he did not prevent the team from moving to another state.
That threat, sent earlier this year via e-mail, landed Nelson in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, where Judge James C. Evans placed him on probation for one year and ordered him to enter a treatment program for drug and alcohol abuse.
"I'll send you to prison if you screw up," Judge Evans told Nelson during Friday's sentencing.
Nelson also was ordered to stay off the Youngstown State University campus unless he's a registered student.
Plea agreement: Nelson, 23, of Phelps Street, was indicted by a county grand jury in February on charges of unauthorized use of a computer and aggravated menacing, to which he pleaded guilty in April. As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors dismissed a charge of breaking and entering.
Jay Macejko, an assistant prosecutor, said Nelson used a computer at YSU to send the message, which was intercepted by Louisiana State Police before it got to Foster. Nelson was not a YSU student but used public computers there, police said.
Mental problems: Atty. Paul Conn said Nelson has a history of mental problems including bipolar disorder and manic depression, though a psychiatric evaluation showed he was mentally competent to stand trial.
Just days before the hearing in which he pleaded guilty, Nelson threatened to commit suicide by jumping off the Market Street bridge. City police talked him out of it and took him to a hospital for treatment.
Nelson said he had been drinking that day, which is why he ended up on the bridge. He said he has not used drugs or alcohol since then.