Virginia man says threat to kill officer was just a joke

Around the South

A Virginia Beach man is accused of saying he would kill a police officer, but he says it was all a big joke.

Justin Cafferty was arrested yesterday at his home. “I felt like a criminal,” Cafferty said. “I was like ‘are you serious guys?'”

Cafferty says that was his reaction when Virginia Beach police showed up at his doorstep Thursday and brought him to jail. “They handcuffed me and walked me down the whole neighborhood,” he added. “It was disgusting.”

Cafferty was arrested two weeks after he made a statement on the phone to his girlfriend. She was locked up inside the jail on a DUI charge and he says he was trying to cheer her up. “I told her on the phone ‘I’m guessing I will have to just kill the officer and make him disappear so there are no charges’ as a complete joke,” Cafferty explained.

The conversation was recorded by jail staff who alerted police.

“I was just trying to be there for my girlfriend and trying to cheer her up,” he added. “She is going to be here for a while.”

Cafferty has been charged with conspiracy to commit capital murder. It’s a charge he says doesn’t fit the crime. “Conspiracy by definition is a plan on action, on how to commit a murder,” Cafferty said. “I said five words. One sentence.”

Cafferty told 10 On Your Side he is a college student and was supposed to graduate from Tidewater Community College (TCC) Monday.

He says he was in the middle of taking an online exam when police showed up. He also says he works two jobs. “I obviously shouldn’t still have said kill an officer, but I meant no harm by it,” he added.

For now, Cafferty sits in jail. He is scheduled to have a bond hearing Tuesday.

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