Indiana man threatened Boehner over jobless benefits: prosecutors

Fri May 9, 2014 6:41pm EDT

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) takes a question as he addresses reporters after a Republican caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington May 7, 2014. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) takes a question as he addresses reporters after a Republican caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington May 7, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

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(Reuters) - An unemployed Indiana man was charged on Friday with making death threats against House Speaker John Boehner because the House did not vote to extend unemployment insurance, federal prosecutors said.

Brandon Thompson, 32, of New Castle could face five years in prison if convicted of making e-mail and telephone threats against an elected official, according to a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Joseph Hogsett for the Southern District of Indiana.

The threats started on March 31, when Thompson sent an e-mail to Boehner saying "well you drunk John Bin Laden it's time to take you out" and threatened to kill Boehner "with my sniper rifle," according to a criminal complaint.

Thompson also made multiple calls to the cell phone of Boehner's wife, Debbie Boehner, the complaint said. Thompson allegedly left messages saying he was coming for the Republican congressman and would "rip his (expletive) head off."

Last December, 1.3 million Americans lost unemployment benefits when the House of Representatives failed to reach agreement on the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program.

Thompson admitted sending the messages when he was arrested on Thursday, the complaint said. He has no criminal history and was released to home detention.

Monica Foster, chief federal defender in Indianapolis, noted that Thompson lost his unemployment benefits in January.

"People in the heartland are frustrated by our elected officials," said Foster. She said while this doesn't make threatening an elected official lawful, "I think it provides some context for what happened here."

A spokesman for Boehner had no comment on the arrest.

(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski; Editing by Chris Reese)

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Comments (4)
IBINUBU wrote:
WOW. Democrats get pretty pissed off when you take away their free stuff. They are taught to believe they are entitled to a never ending supply.

May 09, 2014 7:36pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Ammisam wrote:
If convicted, he’ll get three meals and a cot, free medical, a free education and job training…where’s the downside again?

May 09, 2014 7:53pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
kbill wrote:
Well, now he’ll have a place to go every day, he’ll earn $ .50/hour for his work, and he’ll have 3 hots and a cot, plus healthcare…looks like he was successful.

May 10, 2014 1:37am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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