Melbourne man's Obama Facebook post results in prison sentence

Published On: Aug 02 2013 06:11:40 AM EDT

Ferre' Dollar/CNN

MELBOURNE, Fla. -

A federal judge on Thursday sentenced the Melbourne man who posted on Facebook about hunting down President Obama to one year and three months in federal prison.

Local 6 news partner Florida Today reports Christopher Castillo, 29, was ordered to term followed by three years probation. The judge said the probation term would allow Castillo to continue anger management classes.

Castillo posted on Facebook, referring to President Obama: “That’s the last straw, if he gets re-elected I’m going to hunt him down and kill him (and) watch the life disappear from his eyes.”

Castillo cried when the judge read the sentence. His family — his wife, mother and father were in the courtroom — cried, too.

Castillo’s public defenders had asked the judge impose a term of probation, or community service, allowing Castillo — a father of three who since his arrest has been selling knives over the telephone — to continue anger management treatment.

“He’s not the next Lee Harvey Oswald. He’s not the next John Wilkes Booth,” federal public defender James Smith said in court. “He’s just a poor, young, uneducated, ignorant man.”

But federal prosecutor Shawn Napier painted a different picture of Castillo’s anger problem. Napier said Castillo’s anger resulted in his dismissal from the Air Force and fired from at least one job. He asked that the judge send a message not only to Castillo, but to the public, that “words have consequences, and words have meaning.”

The sentence was the shortest available to the judge under sentencing guidelines. He said he found the statements Castillo made “disturbing” and said they showed hostility, but said there was no evidence of deliberation on Castillo’s behalf.

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