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Arizona man going to prison for death threats to black Harvard students

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PHOENIX – An Arizona man who pleaded guilty to threatening to bomb Harvard University and shoot anyone who attended its black commencement ceremony has been sentenced to more than a year in prison.

A federal judge in Boston sentenced 25-year-old Nicholas Zuckerman on Wednesday to a year and three months behind bars and three years of probation. Prosecutors had recommended 18 months in prison.

The Phoenix-area man pleaded guilty in February to making interstate threats. The sentence for that crime is a maximum five years in prison.

The Harvard Crimson campus newspaper reported last week that U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling’s office wrote in court filings that the serious nature of the threat, combined with the fact that it targeted a minority group, justified the year-and-a-half long prison sentence.

Zuckerman was arrested in June 2018.

Prosecutors said he posted comments on Harvard’s Instagram account in May 2017 encouraging “violence and death” if the event went on as scheduled, allegedly writing, “#bombharvard and end their pro-black agenda.”

Zuckerman allegedly commented “#bombharvard” on other users’ posts about 11 times in four minutes, the Justice Department said.

The prosecution also said Zuckerman suggested using “two automatics with extendo clips” to kill people he referred to with a racial epithet.

The posts were reported to campus police, who referred the case to federal authorities.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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