April 6th, 2010
03:41 PM ET
5 years ago

Man arrested, accused of death threats against U.S. senator

Police arrested a 64-year-old Washington state resident for allegedly making death threats against Democratic Sen. Patty Murray.
Police arrested a 64-year-old Washington state resident for allegedly making death threats against Democratic Sen. Patty Murray.

(CNN) - Police arrested a 64-year-old Washington state resident for allegedly making death threats against Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.

A department statement said the suspect, identified as Charles Alan Wilson of Selah, Washington, made the threats in phone messages to Murray's office between March 22 and April 4.

Wilson allegedly stated that Murray "had a target on her back" and that he wanted to kill her, according to the statement, which said the threats were in response to congressional passage of the new health care bill.

According to the statement, Wilson allegedly "told undercover FBI agents that he regularly carries a firearm with a concealed weapons permit" and "also stated that he was extremely angry about the passage of the health care reform legislation."

Threatening a federal official is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, the statement said.

Threats against U.S. senators and representatives increased as Congress held its final debates and votes on the health care bill, which was unanimously opposed by Republicans. In addition, conservative activists around the country protested the bill.

Most of the reported threats were against Democrats, though there were some against Republicans.


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soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. sensible Cape Coral Fl

    I don't understand why anyone would be surprised at this considering the trash talk that has been passing as news. In fact it is even encouraged.

    April 6, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  2. Mini Carlsson

    We have Sarah Palin to thank for the rhetoric she is perpetuating 'causing sick, delusional people to the brink of committing a crime

    April 6, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  3. Gary

    Charles Wilson, comon, you mean Rush, or Sarah, or Newt, or Michael, or Sean. Will the real Republican Terrorist please stand up.

    April 6, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  4. Robin in Tampa, FL

    There are a lot of unstable people out there, and the clowns like Glenn Beck have basically pouring gasoline on fire with their completely unhinged rhetoric.

    April 6, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  5. Robert Warner

    Republicans believe in democracy and America as long as they get their way. When they lose, be it an issue or an election, they start employing the tactics of the Taliban and AlQueda- flying planes into buildings, ambushing police with IEDs, and trying to assassinate elected officials. They nominated a secessionist for Vice President and elected another as Governor of Texas. They like the Federal government when they win elections but when Democrats get elected, Republicans want a do-over on the Civil War.

    April 6, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  6. TOMMYBOY

    Very sad we have to resort to this, we need to stop this hatred, lies, and pure assult on america by so called true american, like sara palin and her trash tea baggers....

    April 6, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  7. Joe Fatala

    No the taliban is the so-called pro-choice crowd who when a woman chooses to have a child, they berate the woman for not getting an abortion. Abortion has become big business for the democrats who reap millions of dollars in bonuses every year from the abortion industry (so-called pro choice).

    April 6, 2010 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  8. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Can she sue Sarah Palin for inciting this bozo? I bet she could go after all the money Palin is making from her book and speaking tours. Probably her Fox salary, too! Just make sure the trial is in that county in Mississippi that all the trial lawyers like going to for the bigbuck payoffs.

    April 6, 2010 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  9. Sue from California

    Don't forget the inciteful rhetoric of Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota. She urges people to arm their guns and pick a target. This woman is a truly sick individual.

    April 6, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  10. Marc from San Diego

    This is what the extreme right does. They are un-American, and when elections don't go their way this is what they do.

    April 6, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  11. Mikey

    I.....guess.....Joe.......Kiloz......is......back......off........his......meds......

    They need to catch them all, no mater what stripe and throw the book at them. There is no place for attempted intimidation of elected officials in our democracy, period.

    April 6, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  12. Blame everyone but the Dems.

    You people are stupid. You blame all the Republicans and Fox, Hannity and Palin for spreading hate.

    Did you know that half of the Tea Party members are Independents or Democrats???????

    The left winf media are the ones who are making this into a violent situation byt spreading lies about the tea party movement among other right wing voices. The left were the one who yelled racism when black congressman got spit on and called n word. BUT yet there is not one,,, not ONE shred of proof of that. Not one reporter heard it, photgraphed or recorded it. But yet, it was all over the media.

    The left is fueling this fire,,,, you people are too stupid to see the truth.

    April 6, 2010 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  13. Colleen

    "a target on her back" sounds like that Sarah talk...
    Shame on her and all others who attempt to incite 'terror' in the rest of us by using their lies and over-the-top rhetoric to inflame their army of what I call, Surrogate Terrorists...
    ...Sarah and the others know what they are doing...or hope they are doing...but will deny their part in it when it gets out of hand...perhaps the law hides them...I wonder what God thinks?

    April 6, 2010 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  14. Vic of New York

    I just want to know why we don't throw the Clowns who actually INCITE these morons in the first place? Start with "Spray-tan" Boehner, and move on to the FOX jokers.

    April 6, 2010 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  15. jenn, philadelphia

    I love all the "it's because the Republicans are hateful" reasons being tossed about here. After all, it was nothing but peace and love during George W Bush's 8 years in office. Crazy people do crazy things and that is their fault only. Of course, that falls outside the liberal thought of not having to take personal responsibility for our actions, because we are a victim of something and should be a protected class.

    April 6, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    "No the taliban is the so-called pro-choice crowd who when a woman chooses to have a child, they berate the woman for not getting an abortion."

    You win today's crazytalk trophy.

    April 6, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  17. ThinkAgain

    "Joe Fatala" you are full of it!

    If Democrats were so against people having children, then why are there more registered Democrats in the United States than Republicans?

    Further, Democrats don't "berate a woman" if she chooses to have a baby and not abort it! Democrats simply want to guarantee that the decision is left up to the woman, in counsel with her doctor and her conscience.

    You need to gain a little perspective; every woman I've known who had an abortion did not take the decision lightly and even when it was the right choice, it was very hard emotionally, as well as physically.

    April 6, 2010 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  18. ThinkAgain

    All these death threats have been coming from supposed "patriots" who wouldn't know democratic, Constitutional process if it bit them in the behind!

    These people who threatened our duly-elected Representatives are nothing but a bunch of sore losers who can't handle the fact that the Democrats are in power.

    I think all these thugs should move to a country where leaders are decided by assassination and military coup, so they can gain a little perspective on how important it is to uphold the rule of law and respect the democratic process.

    April 6, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  19. Charles W. Skinner

    Wow. It's so refreshing to see the Liberal hate-mongers present in the comments on the CNN webpage. It makes me fear for the direction of the country (well, more than I already did) to know that these individuals, who screamed at the top of their lungs for YEARS about dissent being the highest form of patriotism, are now screaming at the top of their lungs that anyone who dissents is a dangerous, gun-toting maniac who is also a racist, bigot or homophobe.

    Get a grip, you loonies. Stop insulting the TEA party movement and actually pay attention to the freedoms that they're trying to protect for you. Stop being jerks for a moment and actually LISTEN to what Gov. Palin and the Conservatives have to say, rather than simply shouting them down.

    The Conservative movement is going to win BIG this November. Expect Republican control of Congress (both houses). Then hopefully they will repair some of the damage done in the last 3 years.

    April 6, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  20. Susan

    Limbaugh, Palin, Beck, Hannity, Colter, The Tea Baggers are the ones pouring fuel on the fire.......everytime they open their mouths......and this is putting every conservative Republican in the HOT SEAT.....very few have even come out and condemned these idiots making these threats and NONE of the GOP has the guts to tell Limbaugh, Palin, Beck and the rest of the racists hot heads to shut their mouths......so until you Republicans can GROW A SET OF B@#* your going to go down in NOVEMBER.....especially if one of these idiots really does do harm to these Democrats that voted for the HCB.....then the GOP will come out in numbers and denounce the actions of these idiots......but it will be to late......

    April 6, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  21. Mikey

    To "blame everyone" – The best estimate is that only 4% of the teabaggers are Dems – most are ultra conservatives and plain Obama haters. Fun game with teabag rally videos – find the minority – very difficult.

    To Hugo – The Republican party was the liberal party in Lincoln's day. I doubt too many of todays Republicans would be members of that GOP or vise-versa.

    April 6, 2010 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  22. ThinkAgain

    If any Representative or Senator or their families or friends are ever harmed by one of these radical loonies, I think Palin, Beck, Limbaugh, Fox and every other proponent of violence should be charged with hate crimes, tried and convicted, and sentenced to a long, hard prison sentence.

    It makes me absolutely FURIOUS to read about these teabaggers and others who threaten violence simply because they LOST in November 2008.

    These yahoos have some romantic notion that they are patriots because they believe in armed insurrection.

    They need to go live in a third-world country – like I have – where that is the way of politics so they can gain some perspective and begin to respect and honor our Constitutional rule of law!

    April 6, 2010 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  23. richp the poconos

    Between both the democrats and the republicans they both managed to tick off at least 150 percent of the population, I mean REALLY tick them off, and I use the 150 because they managed to tick people off more than once so I'm being generous, it might be closer to 300% :-)). One hundred and fifty years ago there would have been seconds waiting on them on the steps of the capitol demanding satisfaction at dawn with either sabers or other means.
    Out of how many millions of Americans there were what less than a dozen publicized, I think that is pretty good.

    April 6, 2010 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  24. Jerry - Florida

    Oh well, here we go again! These Democratic sellouts can dish it, but can't take it. I am just wondering how many innocent, well meaning people are going to be arrested because they will not accept the fact that these elected officials betrayed their constituents. Add our own Florida's Catty Castor to that list.

    YES, I am a life-long Democrat. However, all Democratic traitors deserve what they are getting and possibly more.

    Voters will not soon forget.

    April 6, 2010 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  25. george

    Is this more POLITICAL RHETORIC and MEDIA JAZZ....how about the Republican side of the house...is it not happening there as well?

    This Media Coverage and Stories of Threats....could it be a distraction to shift peoples NEGATIVE opinions away from the Health Care Bill that Was TOTALLY UNPOPULAR by any of the Polls and create Sympathec Feelings for the DEMS? They can truthfull SPIN anything and always DO

    April 6, 2010 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
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