Charge dismissed against man accused of making threat towards school board president

The charge was dismissed because the man is being sentenced in federal court for similar threats.
The charge was dismissed because the man is being sentenced in federal court for similar threats.
The charge was dismissed because the man is being sentenced in federal court for similar threats.(KY3)
Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 2:44 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - A charge against a California man accused of issuing a death threat towards a school board president in Eau Claire County has been dismissed by prosecutors.

According to a document filed in Eau Claire County Circuit Court, a single charge of terrorist threats against 33-year-old Jeremy Hanson of Los Alamitos, Calif. was dismissed on a prosecutor’s motion on Sept. 26.

In the document, Assistant DA Trenton Piltz moved to dismiss the charge based on the fact that Hanson had been charged and convicted in a similar case in federal court earlier this year. The motion to dismiss said, “The Defendant has been sentenced in the federal court for conduct of a similar nature and received a sentence that renders prosecution of this State case no longer in the interest of justice, judicial efficiency, or the public interest.”

According to the U.S District Court, District of Massachusetts, Hanson, who will be sentenced on Jan. 5, 2023, pleaded guilty to one count of interstate communication of threatening communications to commit violence against employees of Merriam-Webster, and another count of the same offense targeting the President of the University of North Texas. The U.S. Department of Justice noted that Hanson also made similar threats towards various corporations, politicians and others. The list includes the Walt Disney Co., the Governor of California, the Mayor of New York City, a New York rabbi and professors at Loyola Marymount University.

According to a release, Hanson commented on the Merriam-Webster website’s “contact us” page on Oct. 2, 2021 using the handle “@anonYmous” to post a comment on the dictionary’s website definition of “female” that said, “It is absolutely sickening that Merriam-Webster now tells blatant lies and promotes anti-science propaganda. There is no such thing as ‘gender identity.’ The imbecile who wrote this entry should be hunted down and shot.” Hanson then followed that up with a message on the “contact us” page that said, “You [sic] headquarters should be shot up and bombed. It is sickening that you have caved to the cultural Marxist, anti-science tranny [sic] agenda and altered the definition of ‘female’ as part of the Left’s efforts to corrupt and degrade the English language and deny reality. You evil Marxists should all be killed. It would be poetic justice to have someone storm your offices and shoot up the place, leaving none of you commies alive.”

On Oct. 8, 2021, Hanson posted another comment on the dictionary’s website on the “contact us” page that said, “I am going to shoot up and bomb your offices for lying and creating fake definitions in order to pander to the tranny mafia. Boys aren’t girls, and girls aren’t boys. The only good Marxist is a dead Marxist. I will assassinate your top editor. You sickening, vile tranny freaks.”

Due the threats, Merriam-Webster closed its offices in Springfield, Mass. and New York City for five business days.

The federal charges carry a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison, up to three years of supervised release, and a maximum penalty of $250,000 for each count.

According to the criminal complaint filed with the dismissed charge in Eau Claire County, Hanson sent an anonymous email to Tim Nordin, the ECASD Board of Education president, from a Gmail account named “Kill All Marxist Teachers” at 11:58 a.m. on March 21, 2022. The email said, “I am going to kill you and shoot up your next school-board meeting for promoting the radical transgender agenda. It’s now time to declare war on you pedos. I am going to kill you and your entire family.”

The email was sent to Nordin’s school email, and ECASD’s IT staff worked with the Eau Claire Police Department to find the IP address of the device the email was sent from. Investigators learned the IP address originated in Los Alamitos, Calif. and that the message appeared to have been sent from a PlayStation 4. Detectives reached out to the internet service provider, Spectrum, to get more information about the account holder. The Orange County (Calif.) Sheriff’s Department then contacted the account holder, who identified herself as the mother of Hanson and confirmed that they owned a PlayStation 4.

Investigators were told that Hanson leans “very far right politically,” according to court documents, and had open cases with the Federal Bureau of Investigation for making similar threats in other places at the time the threat was made to Nordin. Since the threat to Nordin in March, Hanson has been convicted in federal court for similar cases in Massachusetts and Texas.

In a statement after receiving the threat, Nordin said that threats and violence against others is unacceptable, and said “to threaten my wife and children, my board colleagues, the staff of our schools, and, indeed, anyone in our community who would come to a school board meeting, angers me to my very core.” A school board meeting on the day the threat was made had three police officers present as a precaution.

Nordin was re-elected to the district’s board of education along with fellow incumbent Marquell Johnson and newcomer Stephanie Farrar in April’s Spring Election.