BOSTON (WPRI) ─ A North Kingstown man will spend more than a year behind bars after sending a series of violent and threatening emails to a professor at a Massachusetts university last year.
Matthew Havliand, 30, will serve 21 months in prison and three yeasr of supervised release after pleading guilty to one count of stalking and two counts of transmitting a threat in interstate commerce last September, United States Attorney Andrew Lelling said.
Haviland was arrested in April 2019 following an investigation by the FBI. Prosecutors allege Haviland sent a string of approximately 28 emails containing threatening messages, including threats like, “I will rip every limb from your body and eat it, piece by piece.”
The complaint said the professor had previously published and spoken in favor of abortion rights, and Haviland’s emails made reference to abortion.
In one email, Haviland wrote, “You will be held accountable for every [expletive] baby you murdered through your horrible deception of they are not humans.”
Haviland also sent approximately 12 messages in March to the admissions office at the unnamed university where the professor works, touching upon race, gender and physical disability, according to prosecutors.
“The Constitution protects everyone’s right to free speech, but there is a hard line between free speech and the stalking and harassment committed in this case. My office will enforce that line,” Lelling said in a statement.