North Kingstown man charged with threatening professor will be detained

Massachusetts
North Kingstown man charged with threatening professor will be detained

BOSTON (WPRI) — A North Kingstown man accused of emailing graphic threats to a Massachusetts college professor will continue to be detained pending trial after he waived his right to a hearing on the allegations on Monday.

Matthew Haviland, 29, waived his right to both probable cause and detention hearings scheduled for Monday afternoon. He voluntarily agreed to be detained without prejudice, which means he can request bail again at a later date.

Haviland is accused of sending disturbing text messages to a college professor in Massachusetts, apparently based upon the professor’s pro-choice views. Prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston say Haviland sent the professor dozens of emails on March 10, threatening to dismember, murder and rape the professor for supporting abortion rights.

“I will rip every limb from your body and eat it,” one message listed in an FBI affidavit said. “I will kill every member of your family.”

More graphic threats involved specific dismemberment and cannibalism of the professor’s body parts.

“That will only be the start,” Haviland wrote.

Haviland also allegedly made threats to Democrats in general, claiming they should be killed because of their support for abortion rights.

“All Democrats must be eradicated,” Haviland wrote, according to the affidavit. “They must be slaughtered.”

He was charged with one count of cyberstalking and two counts of making threats via interstate commerce.

Haviland’s attorney, public defender Scott Lauer, said in court that Haviland has mental health issues and he is hoping to gather more information and a specific diagnosis to bring to the court.

Lauer declined to comment to Eyewitness News.

The affidavit said police in North Kingstown had conducted at least five wellness checks on Haviland’s home in the past year, each time after someone called with concerns about his mental health. Police said they told Haviland about the complaints about his behavior, and he told them he was “only expressing his political views and has no intention of harming himself or anyone else.”

“He admitted that some of his language had been strong,” the affidavit said.

A window into Haviland’s political views could be seen on his YouTube page last week, where he ranted about abortion doctors, Democrats and press coverage of President Donald Trump. YouTube has now taken down the page, which was replaced with a message reading: “This account has been terminated due to multiple or severe violations of YouTube’s policy prohibiting content designed to harass, bully or threaten.”

Haviland’s mother and uncle sat in the front row during his hearing on Monday. The uncle Dennis Martin declined to comment on the case afterwards, citing privacy, other than to say the allegations were “shocking.”

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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