Local News

Warrant: Letter to mom tipped Raleigh police to suspect's hidden computer

Posted February 20, 2014
Updated March 3, 2014

— A man accused of threatening Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane faces a new charge after police found a laptop hidden in the crawl space of his home.

Alec Dane Redner, 27, of 11024 Brass Kettle Road, was arrested last month on charges of communicating threats and threatening an executive, legal or court officer. He remains in the Wake County Detention Center under a $250,000 bond.

Police said Redner posted a message to McFarlane's political website that read, “You make a joke about the U.S. Constitution but soon you will (be) on the other end of the barrel.” The message also referred to the mayor by a crude name and told her to “watch out.”

Investigators searched the home he shares with his parents before his Jan. 15 arrest and seized several computers, but the crawl space was never searched, according to an affidavit for a warrant to allow police to return to the house for a second search.

Redner wrote a letter to his mother last Friday with instructions on where to find a laptop in "the underground basement" and asking her to destroy the device, the affidavit states. He then planned to communicate in code with her to confirm that it had been destroyed.

Detention center personnel intercepted and reviewed the letter, which is standard protocol for inmate communications, and turned it over to police on Tuesday, according to the affidavit. Investigators seized a Toshiba laptop from the home Wednesday.

Redner's mother, Deborah Singer, couldn't be reached Thursday for comment.

Defense attorney Collin Cook said he hasn't yet seen the letter, but said he would be disappointed if it turned out Redner tried to send it.

"It would throw another level of complexity into this case," Cook said.

The alleged scheme to get rid of the laptop led police to file a felony obstruction of justice charge against Redner late Thursday.

"I can't really comment about the evidence in this case, but what I can say is that we take a lot of precautions to make sure folks, when they're in jail, can't affect evidence outside of jail," Wake County Assistant District Attorney Boz Zellinger said.

McFarlane hasn't spoken publicly about the incident, but prosecutors told a judge during Redner's recent bond hearing that the mayor told them she was terrified for her safety and the safety of her family.

"In these types of cases, victims go through a terrifying experience, and the only help we can give them is let them know Raleigh police and other investigative agencies are doing everything they can to keep them safe," Zellinger said.

Investigators also obtained a second search warrant to access a Yahoo email account linked to Redner.

Redner's next court date is March 3.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • Obamacare rises again Feb 21, 2014

    He should have hit CTRL + ALT + DELETE.

  • Mr. Middle of the Road Feb 21, 2014

    He lived with his mommy and daddy? How funny is that. Mr. big man, right wing, supremist, still lives at home.

  • beef Feb 21, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Amen. Just look at the comments in these forums directed at the Governor.

  • lazyrebel Feb 21, 2014

    Where has free speech gone? If all he said that was quoted, how is that a threat? Goverment is trying to shut free speech down and you guys that say you are glad he is in jail are just following the pied piper.

  • mekanik911 Feb 21, 2014

    Poor Politician, she is much more important than regular people. She helps pass the Laws that try and take our Constitutional Rights away. What kind of crazy lunatic would ever want to threaten such a full blooded American person. (No GUNS, No CRIME). It's Politicians like this that fully believe this Hog wash!!!! Oh, just in case anyone wants to reply. Please call me a white supremist.

  • Thomas Fenske Feb 21, 2014
    user avatar

    Well, inmates should be well aware that there is no privacy in prison ... all letters and phone calls are monitored. The guy pretty much cooked his own goose.

  • LastSon1981 Feb 21, 2014

    View quoted thread

    People get locked up for communicating threats every day. Because people began to act out those threats. The restraining order usually comes later. People who dont get their legal expertise from SVU know this

  • Kaitlyn Legare Feb 20, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    I don't have a problem with this at all. The level of hatred and anger that I see being directed at elected leaders in our society is completely out of control. There needs to be more safeguards in place to make whackos like this think twice before taking their political beliefs to a personal level aimed at individual politicians. This doesn't mean there shouldn't be increased penalties for threatening private citizens too, but I think public figures deserve additional consideration because of the vulnerable positions they are in.

  • Amy Smathers Feb 20, 2014
    user avatar

    I am happy this man is locked up, but I agree with others. If this were me or you, they would get a restraining order and we would all be sent on our merry way. Communicating threats to ANYONE should result in lockup!

  • BlahBlahBlahBlahBlah Feb 20, 2014

    You can not threaten anyone.
    No one should write hate comments or threats on any website anywhere.
    People need to know this but I see these comments all of the time..
    You can not hide behind a fake screen name or your real name and communicate threats.
    Too many people are writing the most hateful comments on some of the boards.