CA man, 59, arrested by Secret Service for Obama email threats
Crescent City man claims he was only exercising his first amendment rights of free speech.
The Secret Service have taken a Northern California man into federal custody due to emails which threatened President Obama, the First Lady, and their children.
A Northern California man remained in federal custody without bail Friday after being charged with sending racist, profanity-laced e-mail threatening to kill President Barack Obama and his family.
John Gimbel, 59, of Crescent City was arrested Oct. 6 by U.S. Secret Service officers and indicted two days before the president's Thursday appearances at a pair of Democratic fundraisers in the city.
He is accused of sending the message to Obama, Vice President Joseph Biden, a Louisville newspaper and about 70 other people on Sept. 28.
Gimbel is scheduled to be arraigned Monday. Randall Davis, a defense lawyer assigned to serve as Gimbel's co-counsel because Gimbel wants to represent himself, said he expects him to plead not guilty.
"He contends he didn't violate the law" and only was exercising his free speech rights," Davis said.
The e-mail rambled on and included specific references to first lady Michelle Obama and the phrase, "do it to his children and family first in front of him. Failure to comply. That'll teach him," according to the indictment.
A similar e-mail was sent earlier in the month, according to a criminal complaint prepared by the Secret Service.
When officers interviewed Gimbel at his home, he admitted sending the first message but said he wanted to get attention, not hurt Obama, authorities said.
He was warned that he would be prosecuted if he sent any more.
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North Tonawanda, New York, United States