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Facebook threats case: Trial set for terrorist threats against police officer

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POSTED May 10, 2013 1:48 a.m.

Dominic Aguilar, 37, is being held to answer a felony terrorist threat charge that he leveled threats against Manteca Police Officer John Moody on his Facebook page related to the officer involved shooting of Ernesto Duenas, Jr., nearly two years ago.

Manteca detectives had driven to Roseville in early January where they arrested Aguilar for his alleged threats on the online social media.

Judge Ronald Northup heard testimony from officers Moody and Armen Avakian in the Manteca Branch of the San Joaquin County Superior Court Wednesday urging that Aguilar should stand trial for the alleged threats.  A trial date was set for May 22 at 8:30 a.m. in Department 35 of the Stockton Courthouse with Judge Franklin Stevenson presiding.

Officer Avakian testified Wednesday that he knew Moody was fearful after the posting that said he might be shot in the face during any traffic stop with “50 shots to his dome – pop, pop, pop.”

Tai Bogan, Aguilar’s defense attorney, reportedly felt that Aguilar’s words had not been meant as a direct threat – suggesting he was also protected by freedom of speech mandates.

Judge Northup argued against the defense attorney’s assertion that Aguilar had only been ambiguous, adding that there is a lot of speech that is unprotected – saying the social media is no exception.

Deputy District Attorney Ron Indran quoted Aguilar’s earlier admission saying that what he had written on Facebook was mainly for “shock value.”

Aguilar was initially held in lieu of $150,000 bail but currently is free from custody.

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