A Florida man has been sentenced to serve time in federal prison for making threats against individuals at the American Family Association in Tupelo, Mississippi. On Monday, July 20, 2020, U.S. District Judge Sheri Polster Chappell in the Middle District of Florida sentenced 21-year old Chase Davis of Pompano Beach, Florida to 6 months incarceration for his May 22, 2019, threat to “to kill every single person” associated with the American Family Association. Judge Chappell ordered Davis to report to prison today, July 21, 2020 to begin serving his sentence. Once he has served the required term in prison, Davis will be under court supervision for three years. Davis was also ordered to pay $1,440 in restitution for costs the American Family Association incurred to protect its employees after the threat.
Davis was indicted for his criminal threats by a grand jury in the Northern District of Mississippi during the Summer of 2019. He pled guilty to those charges before a District Court in Florida pursuant to a rule that allows a defendant to plead guilty to charges in the District where they reside upon agreement by the parties and the Court. As a part of the sentence imposed on Tuesday, the Court also ordered Davis to participate in drug and mental health treatment and perform 400 hours of community service in lieu of a fine.
U.S. Attorney William C. Lamar praised the sentence and said, “It is important to protect free speech, but when it crosses the line and becomes threats to harm others on the basis of race, religious beliefs, political affiliations or other protected reasons, we will use Federal laws to hold those individuals accountable for their actions.”