Nashville man sentenced for internet threat targeting law enforcement officers

Staff Reports • Feb 5, 2018 at 6:09 PM

A Nashville man was sentenced Monday after posting a picture on Instagram threatening a Tennessee State Trooper.

Robert Ellis Waddey, 23, of Nashville, was sentenced Monday to serve five months after the threat. Chief U.S. District Judge Waverly Crenshaw, Jr. also ordered that at the conclusion of the prison sentence, Waddey be placed on two years’ supervised release, the first six months of which will be spent in a halfway house. Crenshaw also fined Waddey $6,600.

“We will review every threat and act of violence against our law enforcement officers,” said U.S. Attorney Don Cochran. “If a federal nexus exists, we will aggressively pursue those responsible and bring the appropriate federal charges when warranted.”

Waddey was indicted in February 2017 and pleaded guilty in July 2017.

According to court documents, in September 2015, Waddey posted a picture on Instagram which depicted a gun pointed at a Tennessee State Trooper vehicle. The posting was captioned, “F*** them non attentive hoes” and a comment read, “Gona die lookin at his computer.” A photograph subsequently found on Waddey’s phone also depicted a uniformed police officer bleeding heavily from the head and captioned “only a dead cop is a good cop.” Another picture depicts a uniformed police officer who appears to have been shot multiple times in the back and lying in the street, while yet another picture is a screen shot of a video showing another uniformed police officer who appears to have been shot and is lying on the ground bleeding.

Waddey admitted during his plea hearing that on Sept. 13, 2015, while sitting in his vehicle at a traffic light in South Nashville, he took a picture of a Glock pistol in his hand. The gun was positioned so that it would be viewed in the same frame as a police car on a traffic stop in the distance. Waddey posted a slang threat to law enforcement with the picture. Various text messages sent by Waddey also conveyed threats toward law enforcement and indicate the pleasure he took in the number of targeted police killings.

Waddey also admitted during the plea hearing that his subjective intent in making the communications was to threaten law enforcement. 

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