TULSA, Oklahoma (Tulsa World) — Virginia man who pleaded guilty to cyberstalking Mayor G.T. Bynum and his family over his handling of then-President Donald Trump’s visit to Tulsa last summer was sentenced Monday.
U.S. District Judge Claire Eagan sentenced Adam Maxwell Donn, 41, of Norfolk, Virginia, to 15 months in prison during a sentencing hearing in Tulsa federal court.
“Words can and do lead to violence,” U.S. Attorney Trent Shores said in a press release. “That was the fear of the Bynum family as they received Adam Donn’s vile and violent threats to inflict harm upon them.
“This sentence sends a clear message that there are real-life consequences in the form of federal prison time for anyone who wants to engage in cyberstalking.”
Donn was charged July 15 after the mayor reported that someone had been threatening him and his family just prior to Trump’s controversial campaign rally at the BOK Center.
In many of the expletive-laced emails, the sender faults the mayor for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in Tulsa. Many times the emails state that the writer hopes the Bynums contract COVID-19.
In others, the emails mention the names of Bynum’s children with threats to publish their cellphone numbers and social media account names.
Another message sent to Bynum’s wife, Susan Bynum, asked when she would be home so someone could make a “delivery.”
Prosecutors alleged that Donn also directed dozens of other threatening emails and voice mail messages like these to Bynum and his wife.
Donn pleaded guilty Oct. 21 in a plea agreement with prosecutors.
Attorneys for Donn had sought a sentence of home confinement, citing his failure to take anxiety medication as the pandemic raged last summer.
“There is no doubt that Adam harassed the Bynums with approximately 50 electronic messages,” calling the behavior an “aberration,” Donn’s attorney wrote in a court filing.
However, the filing notes that Donn’s only prior brushes with the law were misdemeanors in 2001 — petit larceny and false alarm for ambulance or fire — for which Donn pleaded guilty and received deferred sentences.
The filing on behalf of Donn cited letters from family, friends and colleagues who described him as “hardworking, trustworthy, helpful and ‘generous to a fault’; one of the ‘kindest and nicest’ people … who just ‘wants to make the world a better place.’”
Donn has been on home confinement for the past seven months as a condition of his pretrial release.
The cyberstalking conviction carried a sentencing range of up to five years in prison.
The U.S. Probation Office recommended that Donn serve a sentence of three years, 10 months to four years, nine months in prison.
Donn’s attorney asked for a 12-month sentence of home confinement, followed by three years of supervised release.
Prosecutors, meanwhile, argued that the recommended sentencing range was appropriate to reflect the seriousness of the offense.
Government attorneys said Donn’s threats to Bynum, his wife and children caused severe emotional distress leading the mayor to take measures that included selling his home.
“As a direct result of Donn’s conduct, G.T. Bynum felt that his home was no longer a safe place for his family; therefore, the Bynums sold their home and moved,” according to the government’s filing in the case.
Prosecutors described Donn’s actions, including a decision not to take his medication, as a choice that he now wants to blame on other matters.
“Donn’s decision to stalk and harass the Bynums was one he fully chose to make himself, caused by nothing and no one else — a decision for which he apparently still has trouble accepting responsibility,” the government’s filing states.
After completing his prison sentence, Donn will be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for three years. He was also ordered to pay $2,380 in restitution to the Bynums.
Donn had hoped his threats would lead to the cancellation of Trump’s campaign rally, held June 20, prosecutors said.
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