A man who sent vulgar emails threatening Shannon Sprowls, House Speaker Chris Sprowls’ wife, was arrested on cyberstalking charges in late January, according to court records.
Stephen Lynch Murray of Okeechobee was arrested Jan. 25 in his hometown after he previously sent an email to State Attorney for Florida’s 18th Judicial Circuit Phil Archer with a photo of Shannon Sprowls with former President Donald Trump.
“Hey Phil, look at the attached photo,” Murray reportedly wrote. “Is pimping legal in Florida? Because I’m going to make the b*tch in the attached photo my whore.”
The email was sent Jan. 6, the same day an angry mob of Trump supporters sieged the U.S. Capitol in an insurrection at the center of Trump’s ongoing impeachment trial in the Senate. It’s not clear whether Murray’s email was related to that event.
Concerns escalated on Jan. 24, the day before Murray was arrested, when a Ford F-150 belonging to Murray crossed the Skyway Bridge into Pinellas County. Judge Phillip Federico issued a bench warrant for Murray that day. , concerned Murray would act on his threats to the Speaker’s wife.
Murray was charged with cyberstalking. He has since obtained an attorney and pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The warrant for his arrest was issued in Pinellas County and carried out in Okeechobee County. Murray was released on bond the next day, Jan. 26.
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office obtained permission to perform a forensic analysis of Murray’s cell phone, which was found in his truck. According to the criminal complaint, Murray’s email address is associated with a website, Cops2prison.com, which contains posts about the police, criminal justice system and other institutions.
The Sprowls live in Clearwater with their two young sons.