What Are ‘Terroristic Threats’?
Since the news broke on Wednesday (April 24) that country star Billy Currington had been indicted on charges of making terroristic threats (as well as abuse of an elderly person) fans have been speculating online what constitutes a terroristic threat.
The singer was indicted for an incident that took place on April 15 at his property near Tybee Island in Georgia. A charter boat captain named Charles Harvey Ferrelle says he and two of his paying passengers passed near Currington’s property. As they came back by, he alleges the 'People Are Crazy' singer was waiting in his boat with a camera, and allegedly jumped out and threatened to “f--- Ferrelle up.” The charter boat operator later added that the singer chased him down with the apparent intent of running him over.
According to criminaldefenselawyer.com, various states define terroristic threats differently, but they generally have in common a threat (verbal or in writing) that specifically indicates death or physical harm to the subject. The threat also has to have a reasonable chance of being carried out. The definition of "terror" varies from state to state and is more defined by the intent of the accused than by the actual evoking of fear in the subject of the threat.
In the state of Georgia, a terroristic threat can include any threat to commit any crime of violence, release any hazardous substance, or burn or damage property with the intent of causing terror or evacuation. The charge is a felony in Georgia and if found guilty, Currington could face a fine of $1,000 and anywhere from 1-5 years in prison.
WSAV reports that an employee at Currington's property also contacted police on April 16 and indicated that Ferelle's boat passed by too closely and almost knocked an elderly man for whom she is the caretaker into the water. She said that in response, Currington wanted to sign a warrant for Ferelle. On April 17 Currington tweeted, "harrassing artists often at their home by boat should be illegal. thas all i know."
Currington was indicted on Wednesday. On Thursday he turned himself in to Chatham County Police. His bond was set at $27,700.