The man who sent more than 60 letters threatening violence to the Stonewall Inn and other LGBTQ+ individuals, allies, and affiliated businesses was denied a request for early release from prison.
Robert Fehring claimed in a letter to Long Island Federal Court Judge Joanna Seybert that he was not a “hateful man” and that remaining in prison amounted to a “death sentence” due to inadequate medical care behind bars, according to the NY Daily News. Fehring is serving a 30-month sentence for a string of hateful and threatening letters sent to the LGBTQ+ community between 2013 and 2021. He recently suffered a heart attack, but prosecutors noted in their response that his heart condition predates his sentencing date and didn’t stop him from threatening violence against the LGBTQ+ community for eight years.
Judge Seybert agreed with prosecutors and denied Fehring’s request.
“Having a heart attack is not an excuse for early release,” Seybert said in court. “The defendant’s motion is denied.”
Fehring was sentenced by Seybert in August of last year after pleading guilty to mailing the disturbing letters.
A Department of Justice press release at the time of sentencing noted Fehring sent letters to the owners of the Stonewall Inn and a Black-owned barbershop in Brooklyn affiliated with the community.
The letter to the Stonewall Inn threatened, “We will blow up/burn your establishments down. We will shoot those who frequent your dens of [expletives].” The letter to the barbershop claimed to be from “People Who Hate Gays ... and In Particular [n-word] Gays” and noted the shop was “perfect place for a bombing ... or beating the scum that frequents your den of [expletive] into a bloody pool of steaming flesh.”
An LGBTQ+ event in Huntington, New York, was threatened with an attack similar to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. And a beach club in Long Beach, New York, was warned of remote-controlled explosive devices
The letters stopped with his arrest on November 18, 2021. In a search of his home, authorities found two loaded shotguns and extra ammunition, two stun guns, and an envelope containing a dead bird addressed to an LGBTQ+ affiliated attorney. Investigators and victims said they believed Fehring was capable of carrying out his threats.
One victim, Eileen Tyzar, 58, this week told the court Fehring deserved to serve the rest of his sentence.
“Aging, that is not a reason for release. We all age,” said a crying Tyzar. “I’m amazed that I’m even standing here today.”