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Press Release

Kaneohe Man Sentenced to 37 Months in Prison for Posting Threats to Kill Others on Social Media

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Hawaii

HONOLULU – Lindsey Kinney, 44, of Kaneohe, was sentenced today in federal court by Chief United States District Judge Derrick K. Watson to 37 months imprisonment and three years of supervised release for posting two threats to kill others on Instagram. Kinney was found guilty of those crimes by a federal trial jury on February 8, 2023. Kinney has been detained since his arrest on April 13, 2022.

According to the evidence presented at trial, the evidence as to Count 1 showed that in January 2022, defendant posted on his Instagram account threats to cut off the heads of persons identified as Victims 1, 2, and 3 in the indictment and their social media profiles. Victim 1 believed defendant threatened Victims 1 and 2 because Victim 1, acting in his official capacity as a government official, had recently been involved in two encounters with another individual, and the defendant repeatedly referred to Victim 1’s official title. Victim 2 is the wife of Victim 1, and Victim 3 is a close friend of them both.

The information presented as to Count 2, was that in March 2022, Kinney publicly posted on his Instagram account a 15-minute videorecording in which he and a second unseen person made threats to kill Victim 4 and Victim 5, both government officials, and to injure Victim 4’s security staff, including stating, “we cut their heads off right in the [obscenity omitted] palace, for treason -- for treason and human trafficking.” After learning of the threatening post, Victim 4’s security staff increased its vigilance, familiarizing themselves with defendant’s appearance and scrutinizing those who approached Victim 4 to ensure that defendant did not get close to Victim 4. Similarly, in response to Kinney’s post and until the arrest operation began, armed personnel were present at Victim 5’s office during working hours to protect Victim 5 and his staff should defendant appear.

“This prosecution and sentence by the Court send an important message that conduct engaged in on social media can have serious criminal consequences,” said United States Attorney Clare E. Connors. “Posting threats to kill specific targets on social media like Instagram criminally terrorizes members of our community and will not be tolerated by federal law enforcement.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation that resulted in the convictions. Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Nolan prosecuted the case.


Elliot Enoki

Updated May 24, 2023

Domestic Terrorism