Crime

The Guy Who Threatened to Eat a Mass. Professor Alive Pleaded Guilty

Matthew Haviland admits he sent graphic threats to the pro-choice professor.


Moakley Courthouse photo via AP/Charles Krupa

Matthew Haviland, the 30-year-old Rhode Island man who sent wildly, obscenely graphic threats to a pro-choice professor in Massachusetts, has pleaded guilty to doing so.

Haviland had been accused of sending angry emails to the professor (who has not been identified), in which he said, among many other colorful messages, that he would “rip every limb from your body and eat it, piece by piece,” and that he would “bite through your eyeballs while you’re still alive.”

He pleaded guilty to one count of stalking and two counts of transmitting a threat in interstate commerce. The U.S. Attorney’s office first announced his intention to plead guilty in August, and said it would recommend a 21-month prison sentence.

Prosecutors say Haviland was upset by the professor’s stance on abortion, writing in graphic detail about his desire to murder Democrats. “I will kill every Democrat in the world so we never more have to have our babies brutally murdered by you absolute terrorists,” he allegedly wrote in one email.

“Simply put, words matter, and today’s arrest of Matthew Haviland should serve as a warning to others who think they can use the internet to terrorize people. Don’t do it,” Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division, said in a statement when charges against Haviland were announced in April. “Everyone has the right to express their opinion, but when you threaten, harass, intimidate, and put others in fear for their lives, it’s a federal crime.”

Haviland is set to be sentenced in December.