Prosecutor Makes No-Jail Bargain With Terror Threat Suspect, Judge Ignores It
Provo, UT – A Utah judge shot down a plea agreement that could have spared a man who threatened to kill “as many girls” as he could from having to serve time in prison.
Christopher Cleary, 27, was arrested in January, after he posted threats to commit a mass shooting on social media.
The enraged self-described “virgin” said he wanted to murder “as many girls” as he could see because so many women had rejected his romantic advances.
“All I wanted was a girlfriend, not 1000 not a bunch of hoes not money none of that,” Cleary’s post read, according to KMGH. “All I wanted was to be loved, yet no one cares about me I'm 27 years old and I've never had a girlfriend before and I'm still a virgin, this is why I'm planning on shooting up a public place soon and being the next mass shooter cause I'm ready to die and all the girls the turned me down is going to make it right by killing as many girls as I see.”
“Theres nothing more dangerous than man ready to die,” he added.
Authorities were especially worried because there were several women’s marches scheduled in the state on Jan. 19, including one taking place in Provo, according to KMGH.
Provo police worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and tracked Cleary’s cell phone to a McDonald’s in Provo.
He was taken into custody by an FBI agent and a detective from the Utah County Major Crimes Task Force, KMGH reported.
Court documents showed that Cleary told police that he had written those threats, but that he had been upset and not thinking clearly at the time.
He told police that he had written the threats in Provo but deleted them after he had gotten threats for posting it, KMGH reported.
Cleary was also on probation out of Jefferson County, Colorado at the time of his arrest in Utah.
At least eight Colorado women contacted law enforcement about Cleary’s alleged stalking behaviors since 2012, according to The Independent.
He was initially placed on probation for stalking two teens he met online, and one of his victims said that Cleary urinated on her and strangled her while they were living together briefly in a hotel room.
“I own multipul guns I can have u dead in a second,” he threatened one woman in 2015, according to The Washington Post.
He picked up another charge for harassing and stalking his caseworker in 2017, The Independent reported.
The Colorado court ultimately sentenced him to probation in all three of the stalking cases.
Cleary was charged with third-degree threat of terrorism in Utah, and faced up to five years in prison, The Independent reported.
Despite his extensive criminal history, Utah prosecutors offered him a plea agreement that recommended he serve his latest sentence on probation only.
Defense Attorney Dustin Parmley blamed Cleary’s threats on his inability to control his mental illness, according to the Deseret News.
Parmley argued that his client’s social media threat “wasn’t targeted at anyone in particular,” and claimed he only “chose extreme words to express his feelings of frustration.”
Utah County Deputy Attorney Douglas Finch said that the plea bargain was essential in securing a felony conviction in the case.
Judge Christine Johnson rejected that recommendation, and opted instead to sentence Cleary to up to five years in prison, The Washington Post reported.
Utah’s parole authorities will decide whether or not Cleary will be required to serve his entire sentence in an incarcerated setting.
Jefferson County District Attorney communications director Pam Russell said that Cleary will face revocation of his probation sentences in Colorado as a result of his new conviction.
“The legislature in Colorado has made it clear that they oppose prison sentences for offenders convicted of low-level felonies,” Russell told The Washington Post in an email. “The District Attorney’s Office believes that he may be a threat to the community and will ask for a prison sentence when he is returned to Colorado for re-sentencing.”