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Seattle man who threatened Trump’s family sentenced to 5 years
A Seattle man was sentenced to five years in prison on Friday for threatening to kill members of President Donald Trump’s family and members of the media, and threatening to bomb synagogues, the Associated Press reports.
Chase Bliss Colasurdo, 27, had pleaded guilty in May “to threatening to bomb synagogues, hurt media members in Southern California, and to making online threats to [Jared] Kushner and Donald Trump, Jr.,” according to Fox News.
He was arrested after he posted “a photo on Instagram of a gun pointed at a picture of Jared Kushner,” Fox reported.
According to the AP, Colasurdo’s history of severe mental illness was considered in his sentencing.
Flagged by Secret Service
Colasurdo was charged with two counts of making interstate threats, which stemmed from his social media posts threatening the lives of the president’s son and son-in-law, as well as similar threats against media figures in southern California and synagogues.
Each charge was punishable by up to five years in prison, the Seattle Times reported.
The 27-year-old initially claimed that his accounts had been hacked, but a press release from the Justice Department noted that threats continued to be made on his accounts even after his denial.
Colasurdo was finally arrested after he purchased ammunition and a bulletproof vest and attempted to purchase a firearm, “but was denied after being flagged by the Secret Service,” according to Fox.
Following Colasurdo’s arrest, a search of his home uncovered more ammunition, a gas mask, and night-vision goggles. He also had Nazi paraphernalia and a framed photo of Adolf Hitler, the Seattle Times reported.
History of assault charges
Colasurdo’s attorney had argued that because of his client’s history of mental illness, the court should sentence him to less than a year in prison, followed by five years of supervised release and mandatory mental health treatment.
But the judge apparently didn’t agree. Possibly on the judge’s mind: Colasurdo also had a history of violent charges. The Seattle Times reports:
In 2015, Colasurdo was arrested for assault at a Kirkland martial-arts studio and taken to the hospital. While there, according to the charges, he attempted to grab a police officer’s handgun. He was referred to mental-health court.
U.S. Attorney Brian Moran described Colasurdo’s most recent case as the “frightening intersection of mental illness and weapons,” according to the AP.
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