UPDATE: Marietta man says "law enforcement has earned the bullet" post taken out of context

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MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) - UPDATE: 02/02/2018 6:45 P.M.

A Marietta man says his words were taken out of context when he posted on Facebook that he would shoot law enforcement.

Court documents say Bruce Ashby, 35, posted threats of violence towards law enforcement last September. The Facebook post said, "law enforcement has earned the bullet." Other comments in the post said, "shoot first it'll be ok," and "nothing personal just end them."

The affidavit of facts states this all stemmed from an incident on September 20, 2017. Marietta Police officers responded to a home on Terrace Avenue where Ashby wanted assistance with retrieving his children from his estranged wife. He complained his wife was taking the children to Wayne County, Ohio to visit family, which he felt violated a court order that demanded she not relocate their children out of Washington County. Marietta Police officers explained to Ashby that his wife was not relocating the children. That's when Ashby got angry, slammed the door on the officers, and said, "I own guns."

Later that day, authorities were alerted of Ashby's post on Facebook about shooting law enforcement. That led to his arrest.

He was indicted on one count of making terroristic threats and one count of aggravated menacing. But he ultimately pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor.

Ashby spoke to us by phone. He says he did not intend to threaten authorities in Washington County.

"It was taken out of context intentionally to make it seem as though I was I think the charge is like specifically to trying to alter policy by the means of threat, but that's not what I was doing," Ashby said.

"We take these threats seriously whether it's law enforcement, schools, or the general public," Captain Troy Hawkins of the Washington County Sheriff's Office, said.

The prosecutor's office says the deal was reached because it believes Ashby's Facebook posts came about from frustration from the domestic dispute with his wife. The office says it does not condone threats against law enforcement.

"It doesn't do anything for our community or law enforcement in order to keep the community safe," Captain Hawkins said.

Ashby was sentenced to 90 days in jail, but the sentence was suspended.


Update: 9/21/2017 5:35 P.M.

Thursday morning, Marietta Municipal Court set 34 year old, Bruce Ashby's bond at $5,000.

As part of his personal recognizance bond, he can have no contact with his estranged wife, and his rifle will be turned in to the Marietta Police Department.

Ashby's preliminary hearing is set for September 28th.

Update: 9/20/2017

A Marietta man was arrested Wednesday after allegedly posting threats on social media to shoot law-enforcement officers.

Bruce Edward Ashby, 34, of Marietta, is charged with making terroristic threats for allegedly posting on Facebook that he would shoot law enforcement officers.

Authorities say he became angry on Tuesday, after Marietta Police officers didn't agree with him that his estranged wife had violated a court order of “not relocating their children out of Washington County," by taking their children out of town to visit family.

As the officers left Ashby's home, he slammed the door in their face and told them, "I own guns."

Later that day, Ashby called the Marietta Police Department to say he was going with his guns to retrieve his children from the relative's home, and dispatchers warned he would be arrested if he did.

Wednesday morning, Marietta Police received a tip that Ashby had posted threats on Facebook, which read, in part: “Law Enforcement has earned the bullet. Far game”, “shoot first it’ll be ok”, “nothing personal just end them.”

Investigators then alerted the Washington County Sheriff's Office about the threats.

An arrest warrant was requested and issued for Ashby, and deputies went to his home at 111 1/2 Terrace Avenue in Marietta, where they arrested Ashby.

Ashby is charged with making terroristic threats, a 3rd degree felony.

He was taken to the Washington County Jail, and is scheduled to appear in Marietta Municipal Court on Thursday.



 
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