William Lawrence, Who Offered $1 Million On Craigslist To Kill Maplewood Cops, Sentenced

william-lawrence.jpg
William Lawrence.
"Wanted dead, all the maplewood city police officers, paying one million per head."

Those words posted on Craigslist by William Lawrence, a 33-year-old Maplewood resident, have officially earned the man a six-year prison sentence, a judge ruled yesterday in the bizarre death-threat case that reportedly prompted Craigslist founder Craig Newmark to get involved.

Lawrence had previously pleaded guilty to "using the Internet in furtherance of murder for hire."

This sentencing comes more than a year after a judge ruled that he was "mentally competent" to stand trial.

See also:
- William Lawrence Will Stand Trial for Alleged Craigslist Murder Solicitation
- William Lawrence: Craigslist Founder Assisted Death-Threat Investigation
- St. Louis Craigslist Robbers Allegedly Lure Victims With Car Ads

His public defender, Michael Dwyer, was apparently "stunned" yesterday by the sentence and asked U.S. District Judge Carol Jackson to reconsider a sentence that he called "egregiously more than necessary," the Post-Dispatch reports.

The judge, however, did not reconsider, which means Lawrence will have to serve the 72-month prison sentence.

stl-craigslist.jpg
The Craigslist posting in question.

Federal authorities say that on February 6, 2012, officers from the Maplewood Police Department responded to a neighborhood disturbance and during the course of the investigation determined that Lawrence had an outstanding warrant.

He was arrested and "combative during the course of the arrest," prompting officers to conduct a "protective sweep of the apartment."

During the search, they found a shotgun with no serial number and a .22-caliber rifle and also detected a "strong odor of raw marijuana." They then discovered a large pot plant as well as drug paraphernalia.

He was subsequently taken to jail and eventually released.

Lawrence, however, was apparently not at all pleased about his confiscated guns. After his release, he contacted the department on multiple occasions and "demanded the return of his firearms," prosecutors say. "On each occasion, he was advised that the guns were being retained as evidence and would not be returned."

About a month after he was first arrested, police received a call from an officer in a neighboring police department who had seen the Craigslist ad that essentially placed a placing a $1 million bounty for the death of Maplewood cops -- and two million for a certain detective he especially did not like.

Charter Communications' law enforcement team traced the IP address to Lawrence, who was arrested again -- this time facing more serious charges.

Lawrence is reportedly the son of a former Maplewood police officer and suffers from bipolar disorder and depression.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin.


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20 comments
miketatum369
miketatum369

WHAT THE F??? IS THIS MODERN DAY NAZI BS!!!!!!!!!!!!??/

Marshall Patrick
Marshall Patrick

police always get special protection that citizens never do

Leslee Brown
Leslee Brown

Well I think he deserves more prison time for being an imbicile

Brewneaux Welldone
Brewneaux Welldone

I agree, they put their own WAY ahead of anyone else. It is fine to look out for each other, but this goes way beyond that. Do we have room in jail to house the stupid?

Elizabeth Grill
Elizabeth Grill

No, not when child molesters and rapists get less than than. Sometimes i think police care more about their own than about citizens. Stop wasting time on this guy who probably doesnt have a million dollars anyway and go catch coc and heroine dealers and rapists and child abusers ( porn, molesters).

Bill Long
Bill Long

I don't condone threats, but come on! 6 years is injustice. Psych evaluation and some time in the padded room and be done with it..

Michael Mahler
Michael Mahler

...with that said. Six years seems a bit much. A shorter sentence to make a point with some psychiatric evaluation would feel more appropriate. I'm wondering if the six years isn't including all the other charges as well....

Michael Mahler
Michael Mahler

Free speech can sometimes come with a price. You can't hire a hit, regardless if you have the funds or not. The guys obviously got a screw loose. Better he sit in a cell for awhile than share his brand of crazy on the rest of us and his neighbors.

Jimmie Thomptson
Jimmie Thomptson

& the thugs robbing & hurting us, get off free to roam again, sick of it

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

it's not a free speech issue. that's intentionally causing fear.

Frank Motlik
Frank Motlik

Stupid fool needs a rubber room and lots of therapy... Not a jail sentence where he will undoubtedly learn how to become even more socially disconnected.

Bill Bernickus
Bill Bernickus

He should have just made it a rap song instead, then he would have been fine.

Casey McBroom
Casey McBroom

I'm as aggravated with the law and the people enforcing it as anyone else.... However, NOBODY has the right to call for the murder of any group of individuals. Just imagine if you were in the same position.... Now, what kind of justice would you expect? The man plead guilty... So, any idea that he 'wasn't the man behind the machine' loses any meaning.

Elmo Farquar
Elmo Farquar

One million what? :-\ Stupid is as stupid does.

Justin L Fisher
Justin L Fisher

What??? - "Charter Communications' law enforcement team traced the IP address to Lawrence"

Bill Long
Bill Long

Where's the Free Speech? Is this threat obviously a non-threat? If he had millions of dollars, then there could be an argument. Free Willy!

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