MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — A 46-year-old Montana man pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to threatening to murder U.S. Sen. Jon Tester.
Kevin Patrick Smith of Kalispell faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine after admitting to threatening Tester’s life in voice messages left at the Democratic lawmaker’s office.
Prosecutors said Smith made the threats because he was upset with Tester’s political decisions.
In late January, Smith made numerous phone calls to Tester’s office, including one in which he challenged Tester to contact the FBI, according to court documents.
The FBI contacted Smith on Feb. 1 and told him to stop threatening the senator. But 10 days later, the threatening calls resumed, and he was arrested on Feb. 22, the documents show.
Smith’s public defender did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A second count of threatening the senator would be dropped under a plea deal.