Portland, Oregon man pleads guilty to harassing families of theater shooting victims

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Portland, Ore. resident who contacted at least a dozen families of the victims of last year's mass shooting in an Aurora movie theater has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor stalking and telephonic harassment.

The movie-theater shooting left 12 people dead and 70 injured.

Kevin Purfield told relatives of the dead that the killings didn't happen. He was accused of emailing, calling and using social media to contact them.

Investigators said the communications weren't threatening, but were annoying and included "vile language."

Purfield's trial had been scheduled for Wednesday. He will now be sentenced Friday to what will likely be a year of mental-health court, where he will have to regularly check in with a specialist.

Purfield also will be ordered not to contact the relatives of those who were injured or killed at the screening of "The Dark Knight Rises."

Aurora police contacted Portland officers in late February and asked them to help with the investigation of the 45-year-old.

Prosecutor Kirsten Snowden told The Oregonian: "We just want to stop the behavior and get him help."

7NEWS reporter Amanda Kost has received messages from Purfield through Facebook. In several, he wrote about empty coffins or missing bodies of the victims.

"I'd like to know why none of the family members I spoke with will tell the truth in an interview with the news media and why the news media permits you all to lie. Every one of you is a lier. The list of liers includes the police officers, Chief, Governor, medical examiner, news reporters, public defender, FBI, ATF, Cinemark President and CEO, funeral homes, family and friends of "victims" that attenend funerals with empty coffins. All liers," said one message from February 1.