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Exeter man sentenced for stalking, threats to woman

BRENTWOOD - An Exeter man convicted of stalking a local bartender and posting threatening messages to her on Facebook was sentenced to 3 to 7 years in state prison Thursday.

A jury convicted Brian Craig, 33, of felony witness tampering, stalking and criminal threatening for carrying on what prosecutors described as a "delusional relationship" with the woman starting last April. Craig was sentenced Thursday in Rockingham County Superior Court.

The woman complained to Exeter police that Craig began delivering letters to her at work last March 26. In the letters, Craig wrote as if he was in a relationship with the woman, prosecutors said. Eventually, the restaurant she worked at sent Craig a formal trespass letter barring him from the establishment.

The woman complained to police April 28 that Craig was posting "vulgar statements" about her on his Facebook page, which was publicly viewable, along with various threats, according to prosecutors. Police found the postings "where he is discussing his relationships, real or imagined, with women."

But the messages also carried with them vague threats to the victim and others.

"When the first one hits, you will all see this is no game," Craig wrote in one posting. "Sadly, about five hundred million people are going to have to die for you girls to get it through your brains. But hey, there will be six more continents left."

Prosecutors brought a felony witness tampering charge against Craig because he also wrote messages on Facebook encouraging the woman to falsely testify at an upcoming court hearing related to the protective order she took out against him.

"Just tell the judge you are all set, and I will never speak your name again," Craig wrote. In another message, Craig wrote, "That's right, you need to stop trying to beat me and start helping me save people from death. . Only you can wake up and say, 'Oh, there's no beating him. I better help him or we're all dead.' "

As part of his sentence, Craig was ordered to undergo a mental health and sex offender evaluation. Once he is released from prison, he will not be allowed to use a computer or the Internet without supervision.

jkimble@newstote.com

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