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From the Associated Press . . .

A Tennessee man was sentenced to five years in prison this week for his role in an international “swatting” scheme that led to a person’s death, The Commercial Appeal reported.

Authorities said Shane Sonderman, of Lauderdale County, worked with others, including a minor in Great Britain, to try to force people to hand over control of desirable social media usernames through harassment, including swatting. Swatting is an illegal practice of falsely reporting life-threatening emergencies at a person’s home, causing heavily armed police, and sometimes SWAT teams, to rush to the scene.

In this case, Sonderman, 20, provided contact information to a co-conspirator about Mark Herring, of Sumner County, who controlled the Twitter handle @Tennessee, according to court documents.

On April 27, 2020, that co-conspirator called Sumner County police to say “that he had shot a female in the back of a head and she was dead, and that he would use pipe bombs placed at the front and back doors if police responded,” according to a statement signed by federal prosecutors. The address the caller gave was Herring’s home.

“Emergency responders were dispatched, and when they arrived at Herring’s home, guns drawn, they called for Herring to walk toward them, keeping his hands visible. As he did so, Herring, 60, appeared to lose his balance and fell to the ground, unresponsive. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital; cause of death was determined to be a heart attack,” court records state.

swat team door entry raid confiscation
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Sonderman entered a guilty plea to conspiracy in March.

Herring’s relatives told WKRN-TV in Nashville in a recent interview that Herring was a tech-savvy grandfather who joined Twitter in the early days when many handles were still readily available. They said an anonymous caller contacted Herring on the day he died, demanding he hand over control of the @Tennessee handle, but he refused.

“He just wanted to be @Tennessee because he loved the Vols,” daughter Corinna Fitch told the station, referring to the University of Tennessee football team.

Sonderman and his co-conspirators are accused of using similar harassment tactics with other people, including a victim in Oregon called K.G. in court papers. They are accused of harassing K.G.’s parents in Ohio by sending unwanted deliveries of food and by falsely reporting a fire at their house on April 14, 2020.

They then sent K.G. a message reading, “did your parent’s enjoy the firetrucks?” followed by “i plan on killing your parents next if you do not hand the username on instrgam over to me,” according to the indictment. Federal documents list other victims in New York, Virginia and Michigan.

U.S. District Judge Mark S. Norris declined a defense attorney’s plea for leniency on Wednesday, sentencing Sonderman to five years in prison with limited Internet access and requiring him to receive mental health treatment.

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    • What nice things? If you can’t eat it, fsck it. If you can’t fsck it, pizz on it. It’s a dog’s life, baby!!

  1. Most people don’t seem to believe ‘swatting’ is a real thing. It’s just conspiracy theory for the average person.

    My thing with this is that in order for seating to exist as it does, it means the SWAT teams are being told what to do and where to go without any reasonably intelligent adult varifying it all first. It doesn’t seem to matter where the orders come from….just go there in full force. What makes swating so dangerous is that just about anyone can send SWAT anywhere for any reason. People will blame hackers for it but why would SWAT be so careless and unprofessional in the first place? It’s all treated like prank calls to a fire dept.

    • ‘…why would SWAT be so careless and unprofessional in the first place?’

      You have to understand that if you spent days on end sitting in a hot car with a radar gun pointing at your genitals, you’d be chomping at the bit to get kitted up and bust in some doors yourself. Cops are only human.

      • ‘These cops’ might be only human but they allow themselves to get led around by the ear lobes by hackers. It’s disgraceful.

        • I don’t post as much around here as I used to, so I should let you know that my posts usually run pretty heavy on the sarcasm. But I will stand behind my analysis that bored cops are at the root of the problem.

        • What would an armchair quarterback do if he received information that someone at his residence had shot a female? Would he drop the phone and not ask any questions and immediately head home? Or would he call around and leave questions on a neighbor’s answering machine? Would he wait for a lunch break to run home? Would he spend time calling the police and ask them to do an incognito welfare check? There is only one thing the armchair quarterback would do and he knows it.

          What happened is nothing more than SWAT doing their job. And once SWAT found out they were played all attention turned to who played them. That football you can take to the bank.

        • If ‘doing your job’ results in the death of an innocent man it might be time to rethink how you go about your duties.

    • Not a conspiracy theory for sure as I’ve been “swatted” myself by my “moved from NY” neighbor.
      This after calling fire dept twice for no good reason(this according to the firemen, not just me ) then swatting me, then called again with another load of BS getting my home searched one Sunday evening. As if this wasn’t enough ,when none of those got her the results she wished for, two weeks later my APBT was poisoned and I found the rat poison box just 4 ft from the fence the neighbor recently had erected.
      NY broads must be crazy.

      • I assume you know what her beef is, and assuming what she complains about is perfectly legal, get a restraining order against her. She is dangerous. She is trying to force you to move, but she could get you killed first.

        • Yes, we live in the county where one can shoot firearms as long as one has a backstop, and she don’t like it. The Sheriff has already told her I’m doing nothing illegal, but she still calls them anytime I target practice. Unfortunately the Sheriffs Dept told me that unless I had video proof , nothing could be done about her poisoning my dog. Shes a real NY PITA IMO. Now the Sheriffs still have to come out to respond to the call, but when they arrive they just check to see I still have a backstop and then we talk guns for 5 to 10 minutes, then shake hands until next time. I think I’ve met all the local Sheriffs. The Sheriffs caught on to her and made a note about/of her on their computers I was told. I have been stocking up on ammo , so haven’t done much practice for a while now. That’s about to change soon though. Sure do miss my dog though. I have gotten another one that looks similar to the last one, which helps a lot.

        • My house was here years before hers was built. She don’t like my target practicing. I got it under control. Sheriffs on my side. The Sheriff has told her not to come with 100ft of me, nor to trepass on my property anymore..

    • Swatting has become common enough that the first thought in the mind of a SWAT team leader should be, “Are we being played?”

    • Dumb SOB as well. Did he think 911 doesn’t have caller ID? Which brings up the question of why can’t emergency dispatchers correlate the phone numbers with the addresses before sending in SWAT.

      • We should all be so lucky to have bored cops as the problem. Be careful what you ask for, bored, donut eating cops are much better than stressed, trigger happy cops.

        • Caller ID would only be the first step. Unless the SWAT team is already geared up and next door they have several minutes to investigate the veracity of the call and give the SWAT team a heads up that it may be a false report. If nothing else they could call the number back. As it is there’s no attempt at all to verify that the call is genuine and the cops just go in guns blazing. Of course, as long as THEY make it home at night…

        • how do they spoof a phone number? How is it done? I know they do it,because I’ve been called by my own phone number and I sure as hell didn’t call me.

        • because I’ve been called by my own phone number..

          Yeah, I’ve been called by own number as well along with numbers that are one digit off from my wifes work number, her cell number, my brothers cell number, my sisters cell number and cell numbers from most of my wifes family but they always show as “possible scam” on caller ID…

      • Haven’t you ever picked up the phone to an incoming call the ID says is a local number, and after 5-10 seconds of dead air a very obvious Indian accented voice says they are from Microsoft and you computer has a virus?

        Caller IDs can be faked very easily.

        • Haven’t you ever picked up the phone to an incoming call the ID says is a local number,

          No, If you are not in my personal phone book, I do NOT answer, that is what voice mail is for… In fact my phones (house and cell) label most of these calls as possible scams (which I already knew)…

  2. You can’t fix stupid but you can put stupid in jail in general population.
    I’m thinking soap in a sock treatment

  3. But some States have made SWATting legal by making it impossible to initiate court cases against those starting a E.R.O., “red flag complaint”, civil or criminal even if they are shown to have lied.

    • I can understand erring on the side of caution…but there still needs to be some sort of vetting…
      what about a persons right to due process?
      they institute these laws without realizing the repercussions sometimes…and don’t seem to understand how they can and will be misused…or maybe that is a feature and not a glitch

  4. For all the shrieking and screaming about safety and shutting the global the economy down for 16 months and counting to save a few octogenarians you wouldn’t think life is as cheap as this but I guess it is.

  5. Police should round up all involved including the owners of twitter who self appointed themselves to decide who speaks or not. And where it really matters who speaks they failed miserably. With that said I see a lawsuit headed twits way. Frankly the perps should all be in jail waiting for baseball bat execution. After all by their actions the victim had his life taken from him. A suffering family deserves restitution along with a police dept that was clearly misled.

  6. And likely out in a little more than half that time…with good behavior..right?
    Even if they serve the entire time…5 years? wow…

  7. Interesting. Black kids kill each other over sneakers. White kids kill over an internet name. And we are told by the three L’s that morality is relative.

  8. He should be hanged from the neck until dead.

    This is a case where there is no doubt whatsoever of the killer. For cases such as this, the punishment should be pro-longingly painful and lethal.

  9. As the Criminal Justice Department’s of Federal and State Government along with the Politicians who control them continue to fail Law Abiding Citizens the “Protections” they claim to offer. It is increasingly clear that it is up to the Citizenry to Clean Their Own Houses. At Both the Governmental Level as well as the Criminal Level. The Idea that Laws and those entrusted to use them for the betterment of society has become Laughable at best. With the Cause of ‘Criminal Justice Reform’ permeating the so called Justice System. The Protection of Society has taken a back door. In many Locals the Politicians, Prosecutors and Judges are as much a danger to the Citizenry as the Criminals and possible more so. While the concept of Vigilante Justice is abhorrent to many. The Need to make Our Communities once again safe from Criminals and those who Play the system for Monetary and Political gain must be taken into account. “We the People” put Our trust in a System of Laws, but Failed to oversee those entrusted with their Implementation. Now the Failure of Our duty has allowed the foundation of that System to crumble at Our feet. Once again the fault lies with “We the People”. It is Our mess and Our responsibility to clean up.

  10. fyi
    You are on your own. The government is not here to protect you. And the government doesn’t have to insure you get justice.

    “ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner is under fire after a judge drops murder charges against an accused killer.”

    “The judge noted in his order that the prosecutor who was assigned to the case was on maternity leave for three months and said the office hadn’t replaced her.”


  11. Trolls. Trolling is being recognized as a sign of mental illness. We see it here on TTAG. Geoff and Haz have the same troll stalking them. Does anyone here believe that this sick puppy would not SWAT either if he had the needed info?

    Read one comment from vlad/dacian and tell that child is not sick. But the current TTAG management is more concerned with click numbers than the quality of the site.

    • {My little troll}

      “Does anyone here believe that this sick puppy would not SWAT either if he had the needed info?”

      Mine stated here publicly in the comment section he would do exactly that, if he could.

      The comment was along the lines of “I wish I could have you red-flagged” about a year or so back.

      That’s how mentally unbalanced they can get, wishing murder.

      (I still want to see him be vaccinated at gunpoint, preferably daily… 😉 )

    • Stolen valor jwm, uber coward Haz and mental midget Geoff the Pervert are the real trolls here, along with their assorted hangers-on. Ditch these troublesome losers instantly!

      • “Ditch these troublesome losers instantly!”

        I hope TTAG does delete every one of your posts, someone who wishes murder on someone they don’t even know personally is proof of mental illness.

        Cured by vitamin vaxxinations, don’t ya know.


        • Look how easy it is to get cowards Stolen Valor jwm and sentient traffic cone Geoff the Pervert worked into a chute. Both of these ‘men’ should be red flagged with all due dispatch.

  12. The defense attorney who requested leniency from the court should be spending some time behind bars with hi client.

  13. 5 years? This was a criminal extortion ring, I hope he gets some years stacked on that and none of that concurrent sentence garbage.

    • A lot can happen in 5 years in prison. By then he won’t have teeth and have to wear an adult diaper because of constant leakage.

  14. What? No Federal Civil Rights charges? Oh yeah, DOJ is too busy digging for dirt on Trump associates and trying to shut down all of those state forensic voting audits looking at 2020….

  15. An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a colleague who had been doing a
    little homework on this. And he actually bought me breakfast because I found it for him…

    lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!!

    But yeah, thanx for spending the time to talk about this matter here on your site.

  16. LOL, Facebook, Twitter, gotta have it.
    No, you’ve got to have food, water and shelter, you won’t die from lack of Facebook/Twitter.

  17. Have a trial. If the Jury concludes guilt, dust off the DA Pamphlet 27-4 dated December 1947 and proceed to Chapter III.

  18. The major problem here is that it is barely an inconvenience to spoof telephone numbers. Therefore there is really no way for police to know if a call is genuine unless it is a known address. One might argue that they should then error on the side of caution but… how cautious? They didn’t kill anyone here. They had a guy walk towards them and he had a heart attack. Given the nature of the call you cannot expect them to just send one uniformed cop up to the house. So what’s the right response? Canvas the neighborhood to see if anyone has any idea what might be going on over there? Watch the house for a few hours?

    I dunno. I doubt there is a good response that won’t end up getting someone killed when the police fail to act when they are needed. But the telephonic industry could pull the plug on easily spoofed calls without too much difficulty. Why don’t they? Or why has the legislature and FCC avoided pushing them to actually do it?
    -Large institutions and businesses want to be able to spoof calls to avoid having people be able to call them back
    -telemarketing is big bucks

    The reason people can easily “swat” with spoofed numbers and call you twelve times a day from what looks like a local number with car warranty offers is because they are allowed to and and they lobby to keep it that way.

  19. Five years? Then out in one or less. Liberal justice right there. He’ll be out so fast he won’t even need a second roll of TP and likely right back to being an oxygen wasting criminal.

  20. 5 years for that kind of criminal stupidity. Why not simply send the POS to bed without desert.
    By the way, what did the Brits have to say to their participant?


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