The Kobe Bryant case still lingers. Yesterday, a mildly retarded man who made 69 threatening phone calls and sent one threatening letter to Kobe’s accuser was sentenced to 9 months in jail.
Cedric Augustine, 38, of Long Beach, Calif., pleaded guilty in March to a single felony count of making interstate threats. A mental evaluation had concluded Augustine is mildly retarded but able to make decisions for himself. Visibly frightened, he broke down in tears several times during Monday’s hearing.
As to the threats contained in the messages:
Many of the threats involved blowing up or burning down the Eagle County Courthouse, officials said. The defendant also allegedly threatened to blow “the town apart” and threatened to shoot and kill all involved in the Bryant prosecution.
Augustine is the third person sentenced to prison for threatening Kobe’s accuser. The moral of the story, other than it’s wrong to threaten someone, may be that in this age of heightened technology, you should never discount the possibility that someone is either reading your e-mail or recording your phone calls. In 1966, Steven Stills and the Buffalo Springfield warned that “paranoia strikes deep.” Today, it’s not paranoia but reality.