Michigan man arrested for threatening Mississippi governor

Gov. Phil Bryant says he'll support efforts to reduce the number of Mississippians in prison in the 2019 legislative session during a discussion on criminal justice reform, at the Mississippi Summit on Criminal Justice Reform in Jackson, Miss., Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018. The meeting was put on by a coalition of groups that favor changes to reduce harshness in the criminal justice system. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

JACKSON, Miss. — A Michigan man has been arrested on charges that he made death threats to Mississippi’s governor.

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation said Tuesday that 48-year-old Harold Joseph Collins of Detroit has been charged with five counts of cyberstalking for threats made against Gov. Phil Bryant and his office by telephone in January.

Bryant is a Republican in the final year of his second term as governor.

“These threats were of a very serious and specific nature and we did not take them lightly,” MBI Director Lee Morrison said in a statement.

Collins was arraigned Monday in Jackson, with Hinds County Court Judge Melvin Priester Sr. ordering him jailed without bail. Court records show Collins will be assigned a public defender.

In a sworn statement, Mississippi Bureau of Investigation agent Andre Cartlidge says Collins made the threats between Jan. 16 and Jan. 19. A warrant was issued in Mississippi for Collins’ arrest on Jan. 28.

Collins was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Service and Detroit police following an investigation and transported to Mississippi.

MBI says it will turn its findings over to Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith for review and presentation for possible indictment. If convicted on all the felony charges, Collins faces up to 10 years in prison and fine of $25,000.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.