BOSTON - Former Cambridge resident Brandon Zebrowski was acquitted in a Boston US District Court on Friday after being charged with using interstate and foreign commerce to transmit a threat.
The 35-year-old Zebrowski, who now lives in New York City, was cleared of all charges by a federal jury after using social media to tweet last year that he would pay anyone $500 to kill an ICE agent.
"I am broke but will scrounge and literally give $500 to anyone who kills an ice agent. @me seriously who else can pledge get in on this let's make this work."
If convicted, Zebrowski would have been sentenced up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.
Meet Brandon Ziobrowski, the 33 y.o. Cambridge resident charged with making an interstate threat.— Howie Carr (@HowieCarrShow) August 9, 2018
He wanted to "slit" John McCain's throat, offered $500 to anyone who would murder an ICE agent. https://t.co/f76yNHTw5G pic.twitter.com/47qDj00Oea
U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling’s office prosecuted the case they regarded as a serious threat.
"We respect the jury's verdict," he said in a statement following the acquittal. "But in this case the defendant posted a tweet that, on its face, offered $500 to anyone who killed a federal agent.”
For Zebrowski, the verdict was a relief, as shared by Masslive.
"It seemed like the right verdict," he stated on his way out of the proceedings on Friday. "It's been a horrible year. I'm glad its over."
Zebrowski’s lawyer, Derege Demissie, who argued freedom of speech on behalf of his client believes that the case "should never have gone this far."
Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Siegmann also spoke out about Zebrowski's comments on social media.
"The defendants words were clear and unambiguous," Siegmann said. "It put the lives of law enforcement at risk. That is not protected speech. That is a solicitation to commit murder."
Image Via Wikimedia Commons