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Man sentenced for threat to police.

Byline: Jack Moran The Register-Guard

A Lebanon man who committed a federal crime when he posted to Facebook a threat to kill an Albany police officer was sentenced to prison on Monday but is expected to be released from custody later this year.

Timothy Loren McCoy Fleming, 24, returned to U.S. District Court in Eugene for the first time since he pleaded guilty in late September to one count of transmitting a threat in interstate commerce. Two additional counts related to similar threats were dismissed in a plea deal.

District Judge Michael McShane sentenced Fleming to 1 1/2 years in prison, but Fleming is expected to be released in a few months because he will receive credit for the time he has spent behind bars since his Jan. 30, 2015, arrest.

Fleming will move into a halfway house upon his release from prison. He apologized Monday in court for making online threats to harm law enforcement officers.

McShane said he hopes Fleming finds support when he returns to the community. He also mentioned that Fleming - who is prescribed several different medications for various psychological disorders but was not taking them when he made the threats - appears to be stable now.

"You seem to be a lot different person from the one I've been reading about in police reports," McShane said.

Fleming was arrested after his sister called Albany police to report that he had posted threats on his Facebook page along with a photo of a gun in his hand. Police closed City Hall and took Fleming into custody later that day.

When he was arrested, Fleming was in possession of a pellet gun that resembled a semiautomatic pistol.

Investigators found three separate threats that Fleming had made against police on Facebook. Two of the posts were written in rhyme, including the message that Fleming acknowledged making when he pleaded guilty.

That message reads in part: "Walk into Albany city hall, smile at the uniform as I pass him in the hall, turn round, Salvation speaks, a roaring sound, uniform goes down, no armor on the head makes a corrupt cop dead."

Prosecutor William "Bud" Fitzgerald asked McShane to sentence Fleming to 21 months in prison. He also said Fleming told federal probation officials during an interview that he had not intended to hurt anyone but had a plan to commit "suicide by cop" that he abandoned at the last minute.

After his arrest, Fleming tried to strangle himself with his belt when Albany police left him alone in an interview room, Fitzgerald said.

Fleming is a convicted sex offender with a number of felony convictions. Because of the Facebook threats, Fleming will be prohibited from using the Internet during the three-year term of supervised release that will begin once the prison sentence ends.

McShane said he would intervene if the Internet ban interferes with Fleming's intention to gain employment after his release.

"My feeling is that primarily, the problem is a mental health problem, not a computer problem," the judge said.

Follow Jack on Twitter @JackMoranRG. Email jack.moran@registerguard.com.

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Title Annotation:Courts; He gets 1 1/2 years, including time served, for threatening to kill an Albany officer
Author:Jack Moran The Register-Guard
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Mar 8, 2016
Words:514
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