Double-murder suspect accused of targeting Volusia sheriff with 'lasers that could blind for life': indictment

A grand jury has indicted a man from Alaska for allegedly threatening Volusia Sheriff Mike Chitwood online with "lasers that could blind for life" and other weapons. 

The indictment, sent down from a U.S. District Court in Anchorage, Alaska, on Wednesday, includes charges for Joshua Wahl, 31, for cyberstalking and transmitting threats in interstate commerce. Wahl is already under indictment on unrelated charges of double murder in Alaska, according to the Volusia Sheriff's Office. 

"Not every loser threatening violence on the Internet gets caught, but I’m glad one more is getting a dose of reality," Sheriff Chitwood said in a statement in response to the indictment. "I am far from the only one getting death threats, and my family is not the only one who’s been targeted and harassed. But I will always be proud to take on hateful idiots and stand up in defense of the community I love."

Wahl's threats toward Chitwood began in March. 

A month prior, Chitwood held a press conference denouncing those distributing antisemitic flyers and sharing messages in support of Adolf Hitler, according to the indictment. Wahl has allegedly been posting antisemitic messages and other videos depicting high-powered lasers pointed at law enforcement officials since November 2019. 

After Chitwood's press conference, Wahl posted on 4chan, an anonymous imageboard website, under the username "laseranon" to post threats to injure and kill Chitwood, according to the indictment. On March 31, Wahl allegedly emailed Chitwood saying he was armed with several weapons to address the sheriff's "toothless threats" toward him:

"I just wanted to thank you. Your toothless threats to arrest me for the last 3 weeks have woken me from my funk. Did you know that a laser like that can get hotter than the sun very fast? You have inspired me to continue my work. So now (I'm) sitting here, armed to the teeth with binary explosives, 37mm launchers, lasers that blind for life in 1/15th a second and (anti-level) 4 tungsten tip ammo with weapons with binary triggers, and it's all (because) of your toothless threats toward me the last 3 weeks. (Thank you) for re-igniting my passions."


Wahl is also accused of posting several other threatening messages toward Chitwood on 4chan, saying that he plans to "blind and kill S***wood (in real life)" and that he is "an actual terrorist." 

"Until you get the balls to arrest me (in real life) I'll still be here. Kill S***wood in real life, shoot him in the f****** head with an overpressure 10mm round," Wahl wrote, according to the indictment. 

"Come and do something about it fedboys," he continued. 

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These messages included links to videos showing someone using a laser to burn a hole through Chitwood's face, officials said. 

Wahl is scheduled to make his first appearance in court at a later date. If Wahl is convicted, he could face up to five years in prison on each count – which is 25 years total.