‘Coming to get you.’ Man who failed Army exam stalked recruiter for 2 years, feds say
A 26-year-old who wanted to join the Army didn’t pass his entrance exam and wasn’t allowed to retake it until he studied, according to federal prosecutors.
He spent the next two years harassing the recruiter instead, they said.
Braxton Louis Danley of Luray, Va., pleaded guilty to cyberstalking charges in federal court on Monday, Dec. 20. Danley faces up to five years in prison when he’s sentenced in the Western District of Virginia on Feb. 1, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Danley is in federal custody and could not be reached for comment. Public defenders representing him did not immediately respond to McClatchy News’ request for comment.
Prosecutors said Danley first contacted the victim — who is not identified in court filings — in February 2018 when he emailed her to ask about joining the U.S. Army. He then went to her recruiting station in Harrisonburg, Virginia, the following month to take the required entrance exam.
Danley didn’t pass, the government said, and was told by the victim and other Army recruiters to keep studying and try again later.
Shortly thereafter, Danley began repeatedly calling the victim on her Army-issued cellphone and at the recruiting station to ask about retaking the exam, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
“Each time, Danley was asked if he had studied for the test — which he admitted that he had not — and was advised that he would only be permitted to retake the test after he had studied,” prosecutors said.
By May 2018, Danley became irate at her refusal, the government said.
“I remember every thing you [expletive] done to me so time to settle the score,” he reportedly wrote in an email to her.
Prosecutors said Danley also called the recruiting station and expressed his anger. The threats were enough to compel the victim to put up a “no trespassing” notice at the recruiting station, and a few months later she took out a restraining order against him.
Danley reportedly continued to send her “harassing” text messages during that time.
Two days before Christmas, the government said, Danley took his threats to social media. Directing his post to the victim and two other Army recruiters, he wrote, “your lieing(sic) f---ed up my life.”
“Lock and load f---ers,” Danley said in the post. “ima at your doorstep now.”
Police arrested him a week later for violating the victim’s restraining order, and he was sentenced to one year in prison, prosecutors said.
Danley was released in June 2019. He began threatening the victim on Facebook again within a few months, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
“24 im getin locked remember j rj this is to. you im coming to get you,” he reportedly said in a January 2020 Facebook message.
The message was accompanied by a YouTube video that prosecutors said showed a “violent home invasion and murder of the family residing in the home.”
A grand jury indicted Danley on one count of cyberstalking and three counts of interstate threats in August 2020.
On April 27, a magistrate judge determined Danley was “suffering from a mental disease or defect rendering him mentally incompetent to the extent that he is unable to understand the nature and consequences of the proceedings against him or to assist properly in his defense.”
Danley was then committed to the custody of the attorney general for hospitalization.
The judge ordered Danley to receive treatment for a “reasonable period of time” to determine whether “in the foreseeable future he will attain the capacity to permit the proceedings to go forward.” The hospitalization was not to exceed four months, he said.
Danley was sent to the Federal Medical Center in Devens, Massachusetts, on July 20, court filings show. On Dec. 14, the warden sent a certificate of competency to the court.
“I certify my staff determined he is able understand the nature and consequences of the proceedings against him and to assist properly in the defense of the claims brought against him,” the warden said.
Danley entered his guilty plea a week later.
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