Man loses latest court fight over violent Facebook posts

AP News
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Posted: Oct 28, 2016 2:43 PM

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A U.S. appeals court is affirming the conviction of a Pennsylvania man who posted violent rap lyrics on Facebook that took aim at his estranged wife, an elementary school and the FBI.

The ruling comes after the U.S. Supreme Court said the jury should have weighed his intent and not just the lyrics.

But the appeals court said Friday that no jury could doubt Anthony Elonis knew the posts would intimidate his targets.

Defense lawyers say he was merely venting when he talked of killing his estranged wife, shooting up a school and slitting an FBI agent's throat.

The Bethlehem man has served four years in prison while his appeals test the limits of free speech.

Lawyer Abraham Rein (RINE) says attorneys will review the decision with Elonis before deciding whether to appeal the felony threat conviction.

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This story has been corrected to show the spelling of the defendant's hometown is Bethlehem, not Bethleham.