Alaska man accused of threatening to murder two US senators could face 50 years in jail if convicted

Jay Allen Johnson allegedly left threatening voice messages at Washington DC offices of the politicians

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Tuesday 23 November 2021 00:54

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski announces her campaign for re-election

An Alaska man who allegedly threatened to kill the state’s two US senators could face 50 years prison if convicted.

Jay Allen Johnson, 65, is accused of making the violent threats against Senator Lisa Murkowski and Senator Dan Sullivan, who are both Republicans.

He also allegedly threatened to burn down properties owned by Ms Murkowski in a string of voice messages he left at the Washington DC offices of the politicians before his arrest in October.

Mr Johnson, who could also face a $1.5m fine if convicted, pleaded not guilty at the US District Court in Fairbanks, Alaska, and was remanded in custody.

“Good morning, Happy Thanksgiving and I’m sorry I’m here today,” he told US Magistrate Judge Scott Oravec.

Mr Johnson, who is from the remote community of Delta Junction, has been indicted on six criminal charges, including threatening to murder a US official, being a felon in possession of firearms, threatening to destroy property by fire and threatening interstate communications.

Prosectors also want to confiscate two pistols, three revolvers, a rifle and a shotgun found at his property, because he is a felon who is not legally allowed to possess firearms.

Mr Johnson was convicted of drink driving in 2016, and has two previous convictions for the same offence, according to the Associated Press.

At a previous hearing he told the court he was “a senior citizen and I am highly disabled and I will not be carrying out any of these threats.”

His wife, Catherine Pousson-Johnson, told his detention hearing that her husband had been in pain following surgeries and that he “gets very angry listening to politics on the news.”

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