Connecticut Court to decide if saying ‘I will hurt you’ is a crime

Justices are scheduled Monday to hear an appeal in the case of Michael Pelella

Connecticut Supreme Court Building (Image: jud.state.ct.us)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The Connecticut Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on whether saying “I will hurt you” is a crime.

Justices are scheduled Monday to hear an appeal in the case of Michael Pelella, who was charged with threatening at his family’s Danbury home in 2014.

Police say Pelella’s brother said he was moving into the attic. But Pelella didn’t want him to because Pelella kept some of his belongings there. Authorities say Pelella told his brother, “If you go into the attic I will hurt you.”

A trial court judge dismissed the threatening charge, saying prosecutors could not establish that Pelella’s comment was a “true threat.” Pelella said it wasn’t a true threat, and therefore he was protected by free speech rights.

Prosecutors are appealing the dismissal of the charge.

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