A California man, who pleaded guilty in May to threatening U.S. Representative Jim McDermott, was sentenced Friday to eight months in federal prison.
Charles Turner Habermann, 33, was also fined more than $54,000 and will be under supervision for three years after his release.
Habermann was arrested in January for leaving two threatening phone messages at McDermott's Seattle office on Dec. 9, 2010.
Habermann was enraged with McDermott for taking a stance against the extension of tax cuts first signed into law by former President George W. Bush, which the representative believed benefitted the wealthy. Habermann left two expletive-laden messages threatening to kill McDermott or pay someone to do it.
"He advocates stealing people's money to give it to losers," Habermann said in a message retrieved by McDermott's staff, reports seattlepi.com.
"You let that (expletive) scumbag know, that if he ever (expletive) around with my money, ever the (expletive) again, I'll (expletive) kill him, OK," Habermann continued. "I'll round them up, I'll kill them, I'll kill his friends, I'll kill his family, I will kill everybody he (expletive) knows. All right! So if you want to (expletive) with me, you go ahead but you let that (expletive) know, the next time he (expletive) around, I'll kill him, OK!"
Habermann pleaded guilty to a charge of threatening a federal official, an offence which carried a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Under a plea agreement, the government agreed to seek a lower sentence.
"Violence and threats of violence are meant to silence debate. They have no place in our political discourse," U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan said in a statement following Habermann's Friday's sentencing.
"Regardless of what positions they take on the issues, public officials and the people who work for them should not have to fear that they are putting their lives in danger simply by going to work and doing their jobs," Durkan said.
Habermann attributed his outburst to alcohol, anger at his father and cable television. He told investigators he hadn't meant his threats because he'd never risk his $3 million trust fund, according to the criminal complaint, reports the Seattle Times.
A two-year tax cut extension ultimately was approved by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama.