A lady who prosecutors mentioned despatched a threatening letter to Senator Susan Collins’s dwelling in Maine in October 2018 as a result of she was upset together with her vote to verify Brett M. Kavanaugh as a justice on the Supreme Court docket was sentenced on Thursday to 2 and a half years in jail.
The girl, Suzanne Muscara, 38, of Burlington, Maine, who was convicted throughout a daylong trial in November of mailing a threatening communication, will even have to finish three years of supervised launch after ending her jail time period, Decide Lance E. Walker of U.S. District Court docket in Maine dominated.
The letter to Ms. Collins, a Republican, was intercepted on the U.S. Postal Service mail-sorting facility in Hampden, Maine, on Oct. 17, 2018, lower than two weeks after Mr. Kavanaugh was confirmed as a justice, in response to an affidavit filed in help of the felony grievance towards Ms. Muscara.
Based on the U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace in Maine, Ms. Muscara was arrested in April 2019 after her fingerprint was recognized on an envelope that contained a white powder that was later decided to be starch.
The envelope additionally contained a letter that had a cartoon drawing of Ms. Collins depicting her as a stick determine with X’s for eyes. The phrase “AnthRAX!!!” and “HA HA HA!!!” have been additionally written on the letter. (The Postal Service had been monitoring mail to the senator due to a chunk of threatening mail that had been acquired at her dwelling on Oct. 15.)
Ms. Muscara instructed F.B.I. brokers that she didn’t imagine her letter can be taken severely, in response to the affidavit.
“American politics is premised on free speech and vigorous debate,” Halsey Frank, the U.S. lawyer for Maine, mentioned in a press release after the sentencing. “True threats should not protected speech. They’re a criminal offense. Anthrax is a lethal substance that has been used to kill and terrorize. There’s nothing humorous about it, and the jury on this case rejected the defendant’s declare that her letter was meant as a joke.”
James S. Nixon, the general public defender who represented Ms. Muscara, didn’t instantly return messages requesting touch upon Friday night.
Ms. Muscara had confronted a most sentence of 10 years and a $250,000 high quality. She has been incarcerated since her arrest and can obtain credit score for the 18 months of her confinement, Andrew McCormack, an assistant U.S. lawyer for the District of Maine, mentioned in an interview on Friday.
In a press release, Christopher Knight, a spokesman for Ms. Collins, mentioned: “Senator Collins and her husband, Tom Daffron, are grateful for the vigilance of the postal inspectors and the workers on the Hampden processing heart and on the Bangor Submit Workplace who rapidly intercepted the letter and the extraordinary professionalism and efficient investigative work of native, state, and federal regulation enforcement officers.”
The sentencing got here amid a string of threats to elected officers and candidates throughout the nation throughout this election cycle.
In March, a Connecticut man was arrested on charges that he made threats to Consultant Adam Schiff of California by way of his congressional web site. The identical month, a Texas man was charged with making dying threats towards Speaker Nancy Pelosi on his Fb web page.
In June, a Mississippi man was charged with threatening Consultant Bennie Thompson and his employees members. And this month the F.B.I. arrested greater than a dozen right-wing extremists whom they accused of plotting to kidnap and murder Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan.