Local News

Man gets 21 months in prison in Raleigh mayor threat case

Posted November 18, 2014

Alec Dane Redner appears in a Wake County courtroom March 3, 2014, for a bond hearing on charges that he threatened Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane.

— Ten months after Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane received a threatening message, a Raleigh man was sentenced Tuesday to 21 months in federal prison in the case.

Alec Dane Redner, 27, was arrested in January after he allegedly sent McFarlane a message through her website. According to police, Redner told her to “watch out” and that she would soon be “on the other end of the barrel” over comments she supposedly made about the Constitution.

Redner was indicted in March on a federal charge of communicating a threat against an individual, but he pleaded guilty in July to aiding and abetting obstruction of justice. The latter charge stemmed from his effort to get his mother to dispose of the computer used to send the message to McFarlane.

Defense attorney John Wiles tried to get the case dismissed, arguing that Redner’s message was a political statement and not a “true threat” of violence and that prosecuting him would violate his First Amendment rights. U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle rejected that argument in June.

McFarlane hasn't spoken publicly about the case, but in a February court hearing, a Wake County prosecutor said she was terrified for her safety and the safety of her family.

On Tuesday, Boyle denied Wiles' request that Redner be placed on probation to undergo counseling and receive no prison time.

Federal prosecutors argued that Redner needs to receive counseling in prison, noting that he has previously assaulted a law enforcement officer and doesn't like authority. Boyle agreed that a probationary sentence wasn't proper, saying he feared that Redner could be "a ticking time bomb.

Redner was ordered to undergo counseling for anger management and psychosis disorder while in prison. After he's released, he might have to receive additional counseling during his three years on supervised release.


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  • carolinarox Nov 19, 2014

    View quoted thread

    The sentence is for obstruction of justice. The original charge of communicating a threat was dismissed when he plead to the obstruction charge back in July.

  • iopsyc Nov 19, 2014

    Second try at this comment:

    It's unclear to me if the 21 month sentence is from the original charge of communicating threats, or from his pleading guilty to obstruction of justice.

  • Steven Nov 19, 2014

    View quoted thread

    The defendants rights being violated? The guy made a verifiable documented threat via a webpage. He was foolish to do so and he is paying the price for his actions. Don't want that to happen, act like a civilized person.

  • A cold, hard dose of Hans Nov 19, 2014

    Prior charges of assaulting state officials,
    attempting to destroy computer evidence, a history of "extreme violent behavior", possession of white supremacist and anti-government literature, driving around with an Ar-15 in his vehicle, possession of multiple firearms.... yes, this sentence is CLEARLY unjust and a violation of his rights.

  • babylaceycarpenter Nov 19, 2014

    His statement seems to be pretty light, to be considered making threats. I've told people that they were going to be on the wrong end of a barrel one day. I wasn't making threats.

  • Bill Brasky Nov 18, 2014

    View quoted thread

    According to the law, the jury, and the judge, communicating threats is a illegal. Threats are not protected speech.

  • davidhartman Nov 18, 2014

    This is a disturbing case of the defendant's rights being violated.

    The notion that McFarlane was 'terrified' is specious at best over the incident.