Cary man’s posts were ‘tasteless dark humor,’ not threats, his attorney says

Garrett Grimsley on Feb. 19, 2017. (CCBI)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A federal judge ruled Wednesday that a 27-year-old Cary man charged with making online threats against non-Muslims is a possible danger, is a flight risk, and will not receive bond.

The man’s attorney, in contrast, argued that the situation is a misunderstanding caused by “tasteless dark humor.”

RELATED: Cary man had AK-47, made threat against non-Muslims, feds say

On Feb. 19, Cary Police responded to a tip about a post on an app called Whisper that seemed to threaten an attack.

In the home of 27-year-old Garrett Grimsley, police found an AK-47 in plain sight. They found 340 rounds of ammunition, plus four loaded 30-round magazines. Police said that as they walked in, Grimsely was in the process of encrypting his hard drive.

Police said Grimsley immediately asked for an attorney.


Wednesday, a federal prosecutor discussed more of Grimsley’s past; using his search history prosecutors said Grimsley had an avid fascination with terrorist mass shootings.

Also found in Grimsley’s home was a passport, out of sight on a shelf above the refrigerator along with $2,000. The last stamp on the passport was to Chin, and prosecutors believe Grimsley had also gone to North Korea.

Police said in Grimsley’s home were North Korean posters that were anti–United States.

Prosecutors also said Grimsley had been diagnosed with anxiety and depression in 2011.

Grimsley’s parents were also questioned; both were in the military. Grimlsey’s mom is still serving in the National Guard, his father is a Wilmington firefighter.

The parents said they never noticed any red flags before or after Grimsely was diagnosed with depression and anxiety.

“Garrett’s family love him, and support him, and will stand by him throughout the entire process,” said Grimsley’s defense attorney, Raymond Tarlton.

Tarlton said they respect the court’s decision, but believe this is a misunderstanding

“This was utterly tasteless dark humor, but there’s not investigation showing a deeper jihadist plot,” said Tarlton.

There are 18 different digital storage devices found in Grimsley’s house, making up terabytes of data the federal government has to investigate. This will take time and there is not set date for when Grimsely will appear in court again.

During that time Grimsely will be in jail, but may be able to use the computer to work with his attorney and look at evidence.

Authorities aren’t saying exactly where he’s being held.

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