NewsU.S. and the World

Actions

Man convicted of cyber-stalking families of Parkland victims sentenced to 5 years in prison

Prosecutors were seeking max sentence of 20 years
KPAX-Default-Image-1280x720.png
Posted at 12:32 PM, Mar 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-03 14:32:21-05

A California man convicted of cyberstalking the families of victims in the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, was sentenced to more than five years in prison on Monday.

According to CBS News, 22-year-old Brandon Fleury was convicted in October of three counts of cyberstalking and one count of transmitting a kidnapping threat. According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, prosecutors were seeking the maximum 20-year sentence for Fleury.

CBS News reports that court documents showed Fleury impersonating the shooter, Nikolas Cruz, and invoking the names of serial killers in threatening messages to Parkland survivors and victim's family members.

Fleury used one Instagram account with the handle "nikolas.cruz.killed.your.sister." He also asked Parkland victims if they "liked their Valentine's Day present" — the mass shooting took place on Feb. 14, 2018.

The Sun-Sentinel also reported that Fleury gave an interview with the FBI after he was arrested in which he admitted to being aroused by school shooters. A device registered in his name reportedly contained hundreds of saved photos of serial killers like Ted Bundy.

The defense argued that Fleury belonged in a psychiatric facility instead of a prison. Some of the witnesses called by the defense claimed that Fleury was autistic, though others countered that Fleury knew right from wrong.

At the sentencing hearing Monday, a number of Parkland students and victim family members spoke, including Fred Guttenberg, the father of girl who was killed in the shooting.

“He planned out his terror on our family in such a strategic, dramatic way. It’s something we have yet to recover from,” Fred Guttenberg said, according to the Sun-Sentinel.