A man from New York pleaded guilty after he was charged for making threats to kill Ilhan Omar, The Hill reported, citing a statement of the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Western District of New York.
Patrick Carlineo Jr., 55, could face up to 10 years in prison and have to pay $250,000 after pleading guilty to threatening to assault and murder a U.S. official and being a felon in possession of firearms. His sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 14, according to the official release.
U..S. Attorney James Kennedy Jr. said in the release this case demonstrates that free speech does not protect people to “make threats to harm lawmakers simply because they may disagree with them.”
Sonya Zoughlin, Carlineo’s attorney, told The Hill in a statement that her client did not intend to cause harm to Omar and did not make plans to do so.
“Pat Carlineo is passionate about his political beliefs and his right to express them,” she said in an email. “He has taken responsibility for using threatening and inappropriate language to express those beliefs in this instance.”
Carlineo was arrested in April for a March 21 phone call he reportedly made to Omar’s office, in which he said he’d put a “bullet in her f—ing skull.”
The office referenced the call to the U.S. Capitol Police, who worked with the FBI, to investigate. When Carlineo was approached, he told police he supported Trump and hates radical Muslims in government.