No bail for ex-journalist charged with threatening violent attack on Walpole Times

WALPOLE, MASS. (WHDH) - A former Massachusetts journalist accused of making terroristic threats against the Walpole Times newspaper pleaded not guilty Monday at her arraignment in Wrentham District Court.

Amy Zuckerman, 64, was arraigned on charges she made a specific threat of violence against a reporter who works at the newspaper. She was ordered held without bail.

Zuckerman threatened to shoot up the newspaper building in an email sent to a reporter on the Times staff, prosecutor Courtney Kiernan told the court.

“She indicates she was going to shoot him through the window at the Walpole Times,” Kiernan said. “I do also have a photograph of the layout of the Walpole Times. There is a big bay window in front and two desks are sitting right in front of the windows.”

Zuckerman has worked for multiple publications in the state and has authored several books.

The targeted reporter had discussed working on a story with Zuckerman but twice asked to be removed from her mass email list, prompting the alleged threat, according to police.

Zuckerman suffers from mental health issues, is known to police in Western Massachusetts and has a history of making violent threats on social media, according to prosecutors.

“The defendant’s Twitter account indicates she makes multiple posts regarding a potential attack on a power plant near UMass Amherst,” Kiernan said. “In one such post, she asked how many grenades it would take to blow up an oil tank.”

Zuckerman’s attorney, Michael Stapleton, argued that her email was taken out of context because some of the words in her voice text were auto-filled incorrectly.

“What they don’t show is that she responded and said I have no intent to do that,” he said. “There is no such thing to indicate any type of violent behavior.”

The Walpole Times office will remain closed as police investigate the alleged threat, according to a spokesman for the newspaper.

Zuckerman is due back in court Wednesday for a dangerousness hearing.

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