Man pleads guilty to hate crime charge after pledge to ‘slaughter’ LGBTQ+ people in US

Adam Michael Nettina threatened an LGBTQ+ organisation and has pleaded guilty to a federal hate crime.

A man who threatened to “slaughter” LGBTQ+ people in the US following the Covenant School mass shooting has pleaded guilty to committing a federal hate crime. 

In a court in Baltimore on Wednesday (30 August), Adam Michael Nettina, 34, of West Friendship in Maryland pleaded guilty to leaving a threatening voicemail at the office of an LGBTQ+ civil rights group and admitted to targeting his victims because of their “actual and perceived gender, gender identity and sexual orientation”. 

The Office of Public Affairs, part of the US Department for Justice, shared that court documents also revealed Nettina had twice before sent abusive and threatening messages to Maryland and Virginia state delegates who expressed support for the trans community. 

On 28 March, Nettina phoned the the DC office of the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBTQ+ civil rights group in the United States, and left a voicemail threatening to “slaughter” LGBTQ+ people “10 times more in full”. 

“You guys going to shoot up our schools now? Is that how it’s going to be? You just gonna kill little kids?” Nettina reportedly said. 

“Let me tell you something, we’re waiting, we’re waiting. And if you want a war, we’ll have a war. 

You may like to watch

“And we’ll f**king slaughter you back. We’ll cut your throats. We’ll put a bullet in your head. We’re not going to give a f**k. 

“You started this bulls**t. You’re going to kill us? We’re going to kill you ten times more in full.” 

The abusive voicemail appeared to be in reference to the Tennessee Covenant School mass shooting which had occured the previous day in Nashville. 

The horrific shooting saw six people – including three children – shot dead by shooter Audrey Hale, who reportedly used he/him pronouns. 

Hale was killed by two police officers following the shooting. 

Nettina threatened elected officials

Alongside pleading guilty to the vile voicemail, Nettina also admitted to emailing a Virginia politician in October 2022, who had advocated for the prevention of abuse toward transgender children. 

In response to this, he wrote: “You are a terrorist. You deserve to be shot and hung in the streets. You want to come after people? Let’s go b***.”

In a second message, sent to his former classmate Maryland Democrat Nick Allen, who shared his support for the trans community, Nettina wrote: “Better watch out[.] Baby killing terrorist. Enjoy hell[.] You’re going sooner than you think.”

Allen was not named in the court documents but spoke with the Baltimore Banner about the abusive message to raise awareness of what types of dialogue politicians face. 

Allen, who attended Mount St. Joseph High School with Nettina, told the newspaper: “It’s unfortunate. It’s also very clear that we have a mental health crisis in the country. 

“I think that is obvious to pretty much everyone at this point. And we have a hate crisis, for lack of a better term. We see all too often that those tend to overlap. This is one of those cases.”

The Democrat went on to say he was concerned the threats would escalate to real world violence, so took steps to replace his home address with a PO box on campaign documents and had donations sent to his fundraising consultant rather than his home. 

These ‘acts of hate’ will not be tolerated

Commenting on the case, assistant attorney general Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said: “Bias-motivated threats of violence terrorise entire communities and have no place in our society. 

“We will not stand by idly when the LGBTQI+ community faces bias-motivated threats of violence. The Justice Department will continue to investigate and prosecute individuals who commit unlawful acts of hate in our country.”

“The defendant in this case attempted to terrorise the LGBTQI+ community by calling in multiple threats of violence to a local advocacy group,” the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division’s assistant director Luis Quesada also said in a statement. 

“The FBI will not tolerate these acts of hate, and we remain committed to investigating civil rights violations and keeping our communities safe and free from fear.”

Nettina will be sentenced in November and faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Anyone who has witnessed or experienced a hate crime is urged to call the police on 101, Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit the True Vision website. In an emergency, always dial 999.