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

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

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/06/art.murray.gi.jpg caption="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. LacrosseMom

    I am glad that the FBI and Secret Service is investigating all the threats against the Democrats who voted for the Healthcare Bill. And that this nutcase was arrested. How very sad that AM Hate Radio, Faux News, Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh, etc., incite such hate and violence.

    THIS is what will cost the Republicans the elections in November...... the hate, lies, fear and division they spew.

    April 6, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  2. Bones

    good... keep arresting these wingnuts.

    April 6, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  3. Pepou

    Another victim of the tea bagger movement, these racist domestic terrorists!

    April 6, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  4. Dutch

    Wilson allegedly stated that Murray "had a target on her back" and that he wanted to kill her

    The key word in this is "target." Used by the one and only If Only I Had A Clue Palin. She can;t say that she's not inciting hate and violence because she clearly is.

    April 6, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  5. Baby Boomer

    This is getting way out of hand. I wish people would just calm down. I also wish our Republican leadership would stop taking these threats so lightly. If the situation was reverse, I'm sure they would be calling on Democratic leadership to speak out against these threats...

    April 6, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Excuse me but this individualis a punk, a fully authorized punk of the lunatics inhabiting the right fringe rent free! Why won't enough of us say what we are all thinking: these creeps are coming out of the closet because the so-called leadership of the GOP is turning a blind eye as they dance around, and take the occassional dip into impropriety.

    This great land of ours has an ugly history inr regards to bigotry, race and intolerance. If these homegrown militants and so-called patriots are allowed to continue to spew their venom under the guise of the First Ammendment and totally unchecked by those they look to for leadership, I daresay this is just the beginning of another ugly chapter in our history.

    Somebody needs to step up to the plate.

    April 6, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  7. joe kiloz




    April 6, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  8. Larry

    Why are the repugs so angry? (didn't they ask that about the dems throughout Bushie's term?)

    April 6, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    Well, as Senator Coburn would say, he needs to make his death threats in a more civil manner, just like the GOP needs to tone it down and tell its lies in a civil manner. He recognizes that the GOP veered off course by forgetting that people swallow lies better when they're sugar coated, not soaked in bile.

    April 6, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  10. Terry - Indiana

    And we wonder how Darwin arrived at his conclusions. This gentleman is a classic argument for gun control.

    April 6, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  11. Too True For You

    Violence is the last resort of the ignorant. So it is not surprising that radical conservatives are behind most of the violence and threats.

    April 6, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  12. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I got shut out of the Coburn article:

    Here is what really irks me about fellow Democraps: the GOPers trash us, block legislation, crap all over us CONTINUOUSLY, but as soon as one of them throws us a bone in the shape of telling the truth, we roll over so he can scratch our stomachs!!

    I subscribe to the whole Christian principle of turning the other cheek, but I've only got two. You get those two, and you're done! We turn into such droolers the minute the same person that has been kicking us NON STOP says "oh, was that you?". This is how we screw ourselves over and over, and how the GOP (as much as I'd hate it) will probably sometime AFTER 2016 regain the White House: WE FORGIVE AND FORGET WAYYY TOO SOON.

    A tiger doesn't change it's stripes people! This is the same joker that blocked unilaterally unemployment benefits and every other bill that came down the pike to help Americans. What the hell is wrong with us?!

    April 6, 2010 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  13. Rick McDaniel

    Use the ballot box, to replace this offensive Dem, not violence.

    April 6, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  14. Hugo

    The Democratic smear machine is doing a fine job at dividing and confusing our citizenry along social issues and racial lines to use and conquer it, isn't it amazing how all of the sudden people that were against Obama's policies were all classified as racists? Isn't amazing how the Tea Party movement against over burdensome bureaucracy is now being labeled as fanatic racists? Isn't it Amazing how the very party that was founded to combat and oppose slavery is now regularly called the RepubliKKKlan by some of you? Civil rights laws in our Nation are no longer about equality, it is a political tool to command as a weapon by the liberal lawyers destroying our society with their illusion of equality. How can you create a legal mechanism to serve one citizen over another based on skin color, you can't, it would be racism wouldn't it? You have all fallen for the bait like mice to the cheese, so shuffle off to your government job for your government cheese and get your government approved healthcare, me, I would rather fight the good fight for smaller government and individual liberty!

    April 6, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  15. ATL Guy

    Someone needs to tell these Republicans that they need a chill pill. They've done everything possible to scare the bejesus out of older folks and gullible uneducated folks about this healthcare bill. It's very shameless what the Republicans have done.

    April 6, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  16. jules sand-perkins

    What is wrong with people?
    "Freedom of Speech doesn't mean you can go around threatening to play Columbine whenever you are "extremely annoyed," as this nut with the concealed-weapon permit was about legislation not to his liking.
    Many of us–most, it is said–didn't like the HC bill. Well, ya win some, ya lose some.
    Get over your Roy Rogers fantasy, Dude.

    April 6, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  17. James

    Violent buffoons act like cave men, always thinking about themselves. Being upset about this bill is one thing, but resolving to violence won't fix anything. Violence is the action of cavemen like intelligence, why do you think ghetto's and poor country always resolve to violence?

    April 6, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  18. Cindy

    The first Democrat that gets hurt, and hopefully, not killed...

    ...there will be blood on the hands of the Republicans who stirred this pot. Well... that's if they has any sense of dignity left.

    Angry mob mentality White people... What a wonderful country we live in.... Do you really think God is blessing this?

    April 6, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  19. Eric R.

    I hope they give him all 10yrs. with out health care

    April 6, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  20. Moderate Sean

    Another crazy Tea Bagger...gotta love it!

    April 6, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  21. jules sand-perkins

    The (suspected) perp was from
    a town named "Selah?"
    His town's founding fathers were nuts, too.
    Any witches out there?

    April 6, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  22. hhh

    Well, was Mr. Wilson a Tea Party member? Surely not.....

    April 6, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  23. Wmscot

    We have a great divide in this State of Washington and it is split down the middle of the Cascade Mountians. The folks in the easternside are typically republicans ( not to many folks ) and are the farmers and ranchers. The folks on the western side, which are from the cities of Tacoma and Seattle, are the Democrats. Patty is from the western side and this guy, no doubt, is from the easternside.

    April 6, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  24. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    The Taliban also wishes to kill all of the physicians that offer a choice to women and their bodies. Core family values they can all discuss in Salt Lake City...

    April 6, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  25. Ben in Texas

    I guess he was mad because all the health care provisions don't go into effect immediately, and he needs it now. So, he threatened the senator, and now he will get free health care courtesy of a federal prison.

    Now, that's what I call smart wing-nut thinking! He gets to both rail against socialized medicine, and enjoy its benefits! With any luck, he can ride the prison gravy train until he's dead.

    April 6, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
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