Utah man charged for threatening Mormons on Facebook page

Published December 17, 2010 4:38 pm

Crime • He allegedly threatened to kill LDS Church members.
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A Salt Lake City man is charged in federal court with allegedly using his Facebook page to threaten to kill members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Mark Eric Bayne, 36, faces a charge of felony threats in interstate commerce in U.S. District Court, according to a complaint filed Friday.

Bayne used his Facebook page to post a status update on Nov. 26 that referred to Mormons as the "worst form of humanity" and made threats to "take at least thirty of their women and children [at the cost of each man] EVER DAY," the complaint states.

The message continues on to label "primary targets," whose identities have been redacted from the complaint.

Bayne has also used his Google mail account to send e-mails to federal, state and private institutions — including colleges — which "expressed deep-seated anger and used vulgar epithets to demean the recipients and the particular institutions they represent," the complaint states.

In the e-mails, he vowed to carry out violence against those he believed had "wronged him," according to the complaint.

Bayne is accused of accessing Facebook and his e-mail account from computers at Salt Lake Community College, where he would launch threats, the complaint states. Bayne's Facebook settings were set to public at the time of his arrest Friday. On Thursday, he posted a video showing footage of a man who shot a firearm during a public school board meeting in Florida earlier this week.

The content of Bayne's postings would "cause apprehension and fear in a reasonable person," the complaint states.

The threats in interstate commerce charge applies because Bayne alledgedly used the Internet and e-mail to make threats, which could interfere with interstate and foreign commerce, according to the complaint.

He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Sam Alba on Friday and will next appear in court on Tuesday. He faces up to five years in federal prison if convicted of the charge.

Bayne is being held in the Davis County Jail under the custody of U.S. Marshals until his detention hearing next week.