NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — A North Kingstown man agreed to plead guilty last Thursday to charges of sending a series of violent threats via email to a Mass. college professor and university.
Matthew Haviland, 29, was charged in April by federal authorities with one count of stalking and two counts of transmitting a threat through interstate commerce according to a press release from the office of U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling, District of Massachusetts for the Department of Justice.
The charges stem from March 10, when prosecutors say Haviland sent a series of 28 emails to a college professor, whose name and institution were not released, threatening both physical and sexual assault in graphic detail.
“I will rip every limb from your body, piece by piece,” Haviland wrote in one of his emails. “ I will bite through your eyeballs while you’re still alive, and I will laugh while you scream.”
He allegedly threatened the life of the victim in several emails over the victim’s pro-choice views and public support of abortion rights, claiming the victim “should be murdered in cold blood” and that he would “enjoy” sexually assaulting the victim’s dead body.
Haviland also wrote that “all Democrats must be eradicated,” adding that he would “kill every Democrat in the world.”
Five days later on March 15, Haviland followed up on his threats with several more emails to a professional school at the victim’s university, telling them that their “evil, putrid” school deserved to be bombed.
Haviland was arrested April 24 after an investigation by the FBI Boston Division’s Joint Terrorism Task Force with the assistance of the North Kingstown and Warwick Police Departments.
According to the FBI affidavit, Haviland was an active user of social media sites such as YouTube, where he posted videos to a since-banned account, and online publishing platform Medium, where he commented on several articles revolving around abortion.
The affidavit also stated he admitted to authorities to leaving 114 messages on the voicemail of a women’s medical center in R.I. that provides abortion services between the evening of April 4 and the early morning of April 5.
His online activity as well as text messages to friends, in which he used similar rhetoric as well as threats to harm himself and others, prompted concern from several people he knew, and according to the affidavit, he was subject to five wellness checks by the NKPD between June 2018 and April 2019.
According to a profile on WayUp.com, Haviland graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from Emerson College in 2012 where according to the Class of 2012 yearbook he served as editor-in-chief of Gauge, the school’s non-ficition magazine. He was most recently employed as a seasonal guest adviser at the North Kingstown GameStop from Oct. 2017-Jan. 2018 and had a profile on MeetAWriter.com where he advertised himself as a freelance writer with experience “all across the board.”
As per a plea agreement, Haviland is expected to face 21 months in prison along with three years of supervised release and an undisclosed fine, however he could face as many as five years in prison. A plea hearing for Haviland has yet to be scheduled.