Computer found under suspect’s house in McFarlane threat investigation

rgallagher@newsobserver.comFebruary 20, 2014 

— Alec Dane Redner, the man accused of sending a threatening email to Mayor Nancy McFarlane last month, wrote a letter from the Wake County jail asking his mother to destroy a laptop computer he had hidden beneath their house and to send him a coded message when it was done, according to a search warrant made public Thursday.

Police used the warrant to find a Toshiba laptop computer in a crawl space under the house on Brass Kettle Road in northern Wake County on Wednesday. When he requested the warrant, detective R.J. Pike included a copy of a letter addressed to “Mom” and saying, “I need you to destroy that laptop ... in the underground basement where I put lawn equipment/blower in.”

Pike said a Wake County Sheriff’s Office investigator found the letter, dated Feb. 14, while monitoring prisoners’ mail, a standard practice.

The letter, which has no signature, says that Redner will “visit you through the webcam and ask you a question in CODE.”

“I will ask (DID DAD GET MY LETTER) and if you say yes then I will know you have destroyed it,” the letter says.

In asking for the warrant, issued by Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens on Wednesday morning, Pike said that detectives who searched the house on Jan. 15 found multiple computers “located within the residence; however, the crawl space below the house was not searched.”

Redner lives at the house, which tax records show is valued at $659,000, with his mother, Deborah A. Singer.

Redner, 27, is charged with one felony count of threatening to execute a legal court officer and one misdemeanor count of communicating threats. Police say the threatening email was received Jan. 13 by nancymcfarlane.com, a website set up for people to communicate with the mayor.

A sheriff’s deputy arrested Redner early on Jan. 16, several hours after deputies and Raleigh police went to Brass Kettle Road and he fled.

Police said they had tracked him there through Internet data associated with the threat.

A second search warrant was issued for a second Yahoo email address that detectives found in other computers in the house on Brass Kettle Road. Both were returned to the Wake County Clerk of Courts office Thursday morning.

The second Yahoo email account, “cheetahrage123,” turned up when detectives were searching the computers they seized Jan. 15, Pike wrote.

Police said in one of the warrants that Redner “had a documented association with white supremacist ideologies.”

Redner remained in custody Thursday in lieu of $250,000 bail. His next court appearance is scheduled for March 3.

Gallagher: 919-829-4572

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