Man indicted for cyberstalking ex-Mississippi governor Phil Bryant

Published 9:44 am Wednesday, August 5, 2020

A Michigan man accused of making threats against a former Mississippi governor has been indicted by a Mississippi grand jury on a cyberstalking charge.

Harold Joseph Collins, 49, of Detroit, was indicted by the Hinds County grand jury on the single count last month, The Clarion Ledger reported Wednesday.

The indictment alleged that Collins used “electronic communications, threatened, terrified and/or harassed” then-Gov. Phil Bryant in January 2019, the newspaper said.

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Bryant, a Republican, was in the final year of his second term as governor at the time.

The U.S. Marshals Service and the Detroit Police Department assisted in the investigation, the Mississippi Department of Public Safety said in a February 2019 statement following Collins’ arrest. He was initially charged with five counts of cyberstalking, authorities said.

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

If convicted, Collins faces a maximum of two years in prison and a fine up to $5,000.

Collins was being held Wednesday in the Hinds County Detention Center, The Clarion Ledger said. It was not immediately clear whether he had an attorney who could comment on his behalf.