SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A man serving prison time after posting a Facebook message threatening to kill “as many girls as I see” told a parole board he was extremely lonely after going to a sporting event and seeing people in happy relationships.
Christopher W. Cleary told a Utah parole board Tuesday that he made the post on a train ride after going to a Utah Jazz basketball game in January and feeling sad seeing so many people on dates and with their families, according to a recording of the hearing, the Deseret News reports .
“I’m like the only one there, and I remember feeling sad. And I remember I left the game at halftime, and I remember I was riding on the train. And I think that’s when I posted something about killing people and killing girls and I’m never going to find everybody,” Cleary said.
It was Cleary’s first parole hearing since he was sentenced in May to up to five years in prison after pleading guilty to attempted threat of terrorism. His post stoked fears because it came hours before women marched through many U.S. cities in January.
The frightening Facebook post fit a pattern of behavior for a troubled man with a history of terrorizing women he met over the internet.
At least eight people since 2012 have contacted authorities to accuse Cleary of stalking or harassing them, according to an Associated Press review of police and court records.
Cleary was on probation for a marijuana conviction when, in 2016, he was charged with stalking two 18-year-old women he met online. He was on probation and in mental health court for the stalking cases when he was charged in 2017 with stalking and harassing a third woman who was Cleary’s caseworker. Last year, judges in Jefferson County, Colorado, sentenced him to probation in all three stalking cases.
Cleary, 28, of Denver, explained that his previous stalking and harassment cases in Colorado were related to his struggles to form relationships.
“I sometimes I say things that I don’t mean. It’s something that I’ve been working on,” he said. “I’m not proud of it, and it has gotten me in a lot of trouble.”
Steve Roth of the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole told Cleary to get mental health treatment while in prison.
“If you are going to have any hope of getting out, you’re going to have to take some serious steps to deal with the mental health issues that you clearly have, that you admit you have,” Roth said.
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