This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
A Utah Valley University student is charged in U.S. District Court with threatening to kill a University of Utah professor with a bowie knife because he believed the professor supported illegal immigration.
Aaron Michael Heineman, of Orem, 32, was charged Friday with one count of felony interstate threatening communications for sending threats via email to the professor, as well as a second professor at the University of Utah and Westminster College's Inclusion Center for Community and Justice.
According to a court complaint, Heineman sent several emails containing "white supremacist/hate rhetoric" to the two professors, identified in court documents as professors M. and V., starting in March 2011.
One email, sent May 3, contained a poem that accused professor V. of "ruining whitey society." The poem, filled with expletives, included a passage that states: "Come the time of the new revolution, we will convene to detain you and slay you, by a bowie knife shoved up into the skull from your pig chin."
The "poem" goes on to say that the professor will find a noose around his neck.
The professor forwarded the email to University of Utah police Chief Scott Folsom, stating he had received three similar emails from an account that police later traced to Heineman. The professor told police his family is fearful that Heineman would act on his threats, the complaint states.
Investigators traced an IP address to UVU in Orem at an open student lab called Green House in the school's Sorenson Student Center. Further forensics on the lab's computers showed Heineman sent the emails, charges state.
After determining Heineman's identity, a UVU police officer contacted the man as he walked out of a painting class on Thursday. Heineman allegedly saw the officer and asked "Is this about the email?" according to the complaint.
Heineman, who communicates with American Sign Language, was interviewed through interpreters at the UVU police station. He confirmed he owned two email addresses the threatening emails were sent from, the complaint states.
He said he sent professor V. the poem to express his "anger towards people who are against America and those who try to kill democracy and support illegal immigrants," according to the complaint.
Heineman consented to officers searching his apartment in Orem, where they recovered two concealed-weapon permits in Heineman's name. Heineman told police he doesn't own firearms, bowie knives or nooses, the complaint states.
Later Thursday, Heineman was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail.
Heineman will appear before U.S. Magistrate Samuel Alba on Monday for a detention hearing. He would face up to five years in prison if convicted of the crime.
The FBI's Cyber Crime Squad from the Salt Lake City field office contributed to the investigation.