A Statesville man was sentenced to nearly four years in federal prison for cyberstalking a woman who lives in Maryland. The man sent her approximately 731 harassing and intimidating texts, according to court records.

Charles Timothy Browne, 57, was ordered to serve 43 months, said Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District.

Judge Kenneth D. Bell also sentenced Browne to serve three years of supervised release after his active term is complete.

Filed court documents and the sentencing hearing indicated that in December 2017 and January 2018, Browne sent a Maryland woman approximately 731 harassing and intimidating texts including, “I like my new gun,” “Now your gonna feel some pain,” and “Lock your door.”

Court records show that Browne also texted a mutual friend that he was going to shoot the woman in the face. Browne’s repeated texting caused the Maryland woman substantial emotional distress and to fear that he would kill or seriously injure her, court documents indicate.

On Feb. 3 Browne pleaded guilty to cyberstalking. At Thursday’s sentencing hearing, Bell enhanced Browne’s sentence because, at the time he sent the harassing and intimidating texts to the Maryland woman, a judge-issued protective order was in effect that prohibited him from abusing, threatening to abuse, harassing and/or contacting her. Between 2004 and 2017, Browne had been subject to six protective orders.

John A Strong, special agent in charge of the FBI in North Carolina, joined Murray in making the announcement.

Murray commended the FBI for its investigation of this case.

Assistant United States Attorney Kimlani M. Ford, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, prosecuted the case.

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