FREEHOLD – A 43-year old male from Plainfield has pleaded guilty in connection with an act of cyber harassment against a NJ congressman, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

Dereal Finklin, 43, of Plainfield, pleaded guilty to one count of fourth degree Cyber Harassment in front of Judge Richard W. English on Friday, October 19. Finklin made comments on his Facebook page about Congressman Chris Smith, including posting a picture of Smith with the caption ‘Dead Man Walking.’ Finklin admitted that his purpose in writing the post was to harass the Congressman, and acknowledged his words constituted a threat to cause physical injury or harm to the Congressman.  Under the terms of the plea agreement, the State will recommend a sentence of probation, conditioned upon time served, a mental health evaluation and no further contact with Congressman Smith.

Finklin was charged with the offense on July 28 and was remanded to the Monmouth County Correctional Institution pending trial. A Monmouth County Grand Jury subsequently returned an indictment charging Finklin with 3rd degree Terroristic Threats and 4th degree Cyber Harassment.

Finklin is scheduled to be sentenced in front of Judge English on December 21, 2018.

The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Martha Nye.

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