A Maryland man pleaded guilty in a U.S. District Court in Baltimore to a federal crime for using a telephone to threaten a group that advocates for LGBTQI+ people.
According to court documents, on the evening of March 28, the victim organization received a threatening voicemail from Adam Michael Nettina, 34, of West Friendship. The message referenced a mass shooting that had happened the day before at a school in Nashville, Tennessee, involving multiple shooting fatalities, where the perpetrator was a transgender woman. During the call to the advocacy organization on March 28, Nettina made multiple threats, including, “…We’ll cut your throats. We’ll put a bullet in your head….You’re going to kill us? We’re going to kill you ten times more in full.”
Nettina admitted to leaving the threatening voicemail and to targeting his victims because of their actual and perceived gender, gender identity and sexual orientation.
“Bias-motivated threats of violence terrorize entire communities and have no place in our society,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “We will not stand by idly when the LGBTQI+ community faces bias-motivated threats of violence. The Justice Department will continue to investigate and prosecute individuals who commit unlawful acts of hate in our country.”
According to court documents, Nettina also admitted to sending messages to state delegates in two prior incidents. On Oct. 15, 2022, Nettina emailed a Virginia state delegate who had advocated, in an interview published two days earlier, for the prevention of abuse towards transgender children. Nettina wrote, in part, “You are a terrorist. You deserve to be shot and hung in the streets. You want to come after people? Let’s go bitch.” On Nov. 8, 2022, Nettina sent Facebook messages to a Maryland state delegate who had previously posted his support for the transgender community. Nettina wrote, in part, “Better watch out[.] Baby killing terrorist. Enjoy hell[.] You’re going sooner than you think.”
“You have the right to your own opinions, but you don’t have the right to threaten the lives of those who disagree with you,” said U.S. Attorney Erek L. Barron for the District of Maryland. “We’ll continue prosecuting these threats to the fullest extent of the law.”
“The defendant in this case attempted to terrorize the LGBTQI+ community by calling in multiple threats of violence to a local advocacy group,” said Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division. “The FBI will not tolerate these acts of hate, and we remain committed to investigating civil rights violations and keeping our communities safe and free from fear.”
Nettina faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison for interstate communications with a threat to injure. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The FBI Baltimore Field Office investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul E. Budlow for the District of Maryland and Trial Attorney Tara Allison of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section are prosecuting the case.