Katyanne Kibby acquitted of charges related to “threatening” snitch Brandon Darby

A former Minneapolis woman was acquitted Tuesday of charges she threatened to kill a government informant, her lawyer said.

Katyanne Marie Kibby, 25, was acquitted by a federal jury in Austin, Texas, said public defender Jose Gonzalez-Failla.

She had been charged with retaliating against Brandon Darby, the community activist-turned-informant who helped federal prosecutors win convictions against two Texas men who planned to firebomb the Republican National Convention in St. Paul last year.

The charge was based on an e-mail sent Jan. 10. That was two days after one of the men, Bradley Crowder, reached a plea bargain with federal prosecutors in Minneapolis for his role in the plot to make Molotov cocktails and attack the GOP convention in September 2008.

Crowder, 24, and David Guy McKay, 23, were part of an Austin-based group of activists who came to the Twin Cities to take part in street demonstrations. The FBI infiltrated the group with Darby, nationally known for his community activism.

Crowder and McKay built eight Molotov cocktails but didn’t use them, a fact law enforcement officials credited to Darby. However, members of the Austin protest community claimed Darby had betrayed longtime friends and colleagues.

The single-count indictment said Kibby, who now lives in Houston, “did knowingly engage in conduct threatening bodily injury” to Darby. It says she sent an e-mail that threatened his life “for giving information to a law enforcement officer,” namely the FBI.

Her lawyer said she was charged because she wrote to Darby that “your life is in danger.”

“She was venting. She was upset,” Gonzalez-Failla said in an interview. “If she had written it better, she wouldn’t have gotten in trouble.”

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