Colorado Music-Related Business|

Photo: Coles Whalen | By Rick Sallinger, CBS News Denver | The United States Supreme Court will review a Colorado criminal case in which a musician was hounded on social media. The case involves the Denver singer Coles Whalen and the unwanted attention she received. That attention was from Billy Raymond Counterman.

That attention was from Billy Raymond Counterman. He was convicted in Arapahoe County of stalking Whalen and lost on appeal.

Court records state he sent her thousands of messages on Facebook.

“I’ve had tapped phone lines before. What do you fear?” Counterman asked. “I’m currently unsupervised. I know, it freaks me out too, but the possibilities are endless,” he added.

Legal analyst Karen Steinhauser says the issue is how far can a threat go.

“Where do we draw the line specifically on social media with Facebook with everything? Where do we draw the line between what is protected First Amendment free speech versus where do we criminalize it?”
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The nation’s highest court has now agreed to take the case over to address the aspects of threatening language.

“We may not like it, we may feel it violates our personal space, but it’s still protected First Amendment speech versus the speech that is intended to threaten somebody’s safety,” Steinhauser said.
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Rick Sallinger is a reporter for CBS News Colorado. Read his latest reports or check out his bio and send him an email.

Photo: Coles Whales single

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