Court tosses conviction in Super Bowl threat

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A federal appeals court has overturned the conviction of an Arizona man accused of planning a massacre at the 2008 Super Bowl before changing his mind.

A full 11-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that the rambling statements mailed by Kurt Havelock to media outlets before aborting the attack did not constitute a specific threat.

Havelock was convicted in 2008 of mailing threatening messages, but a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit overturned the conviction last year.

The Los Angeles Times reports (http://lat.ms/yMTCCH) the re-hearing of the case by 11 judges focused on whether Havelock's angry letters could constitute a genuine threat.

Authorities said that Havelock wanted to kill people at the 2008 Super Bowl in Glendale, Ariz.

Havelock was armed when he reached University of Phoenix Stadium but had a change of heart and turned himself in.

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Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com