Alexandria man sentenced in Howard University murder threats

Howard University (file photo)

An Alexandria man was sentenced Friday to 33 months in prison after being convicted of threatening to murder African Americans at Howard University in D.C.

John Edgar Rust, 27, entered a restaurant in Alexandria on Nov. 11, 2015, connected his laptop to the establishment’s wireless internet and posted a threat online to murder African Americans at the historically black university the next day, according to news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Virginia.

He also posted a statement on an online bulletin board under the username “watchouthoward” a few minutes later, linking to his initial post.

U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady ruled that Rust’s actions were a hate crime, which increased his sentence. In addition to serving time in prison, Rust was ordered to pay $6,458.28 in restitution to Howard University for expenses that resulted from Rust’s crime.