A Howard County man was charged with making a threatening phone call to an LGBTQ advocacy group in the wake of the recent mass shooting at a school in Nashville, Tennessee, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.

Adam Nettina, 34, of West Friendship, Maryland, is accused of calling the Washington, D.C.-based Human Rights Campaign and leaving a voicemail referencing the shooting at the private Covenant School, where the shooter publicly identified as transgender.

Prosecutors say that, in a voicemail left a day after the shooting, Nettina asked, “You guys going to shoot up our schools now? Is that how it’s going to be?” and then threatened, “And if you want a war, we’ll have a war. And we’ll f---ing slaughter you back. "

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Late last month, HRC received two threatening voicemails before referring them to law enforcement, the organization said in a statement.

“The LGBTQ+ community is under attack in statehouses across the country and on social media platforms. This violent, hateful rhetoric leads to stigma, and stigma leads to physical violence,” the group said. “As we see radical politicians sow hate and fear with anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric, we have seen the physical threats to our community multiply – from armed men at Pride parades, to threats of violence against local drag shows at libraries, to bomb threats at children’s hospitals, to the continued rise in fatal violence against members of our community, especially Black transgender women.”

FBI investigators used open-source databases and records from an insurance claim to connect the phone number that left one voicemail to Nettina, according to a criminal complaint unsealed on Monday.

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They also located Facebook pictures of Nettina with a rifle he described as an “AKM” and a “1969 build,” and found a Substack article under Nettina’s byline with a bio that says: “Adam Nettina grew up in Ellicott City and has spent most of his life trying to escape Maryland. He likes to drive his Mustang into the West Texas desert and shoot Coors Lite cans with his 1969 Tula AKM.”

An article with that same biography appears on a Substack called Ecclesia Christi Baltimore, a site on Catholic faith.

In the March 7 post attributed to Nettina, the author claimed FBI informants “are actively spying on Catholics these days” and said the “government raids the homes of pro-life activists, many of us 20- and 30-somethings want nothing to do with secular neoconservative and neoliberal crusades.”

The co-founders of the site did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Federal officials filed the criminal complaint on Friday, and Nettina was arrested later that evening.

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Nettina first appeared in the U.S. District Court in Baltimore on Monday. A judge ordered he be temporarily detained and set a detention hearing for April 7 at 1:30 p.m.

He does not have an attorney listed in online court records.

“We are grateful to law enforcement for acting so quickly to keep our community safe, and we condemn any and all violent words or deeds. We will continue our work to call out those who spread violence, fear, and disinformation,” HRC said.

If convicted, Nettina faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison for interstate communications with a threat to injure, the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office said.


Penelope Blackwell is a Breaking News reporter with The Banner. Previously, she covered local government in Durham, NC, for The News & Observer. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Morgan State University and her master’s in journalism from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

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