A Massachusetts man has been charged with a felony account after threatening online to kill President Barack Obama.
On May 13, Andrew O’Keefe, of Mansfield posted on an FBI website that he planned to kill the president. In the posting, O’Keefe also asked for U.S. Secret Service to be sent to his apartment because he could “use the company,” according to the Boston Herald.
Twenty-eight-year-old O’Keefe, who has been in custody since the posting, made his initial appearance in court Monday wearing a green T-shirt, basketball shorts and sneakers.
The Sun Chronicle reports that O’Keefe’s case is being treated as a protective intelligence case which “covers matters or threats to the president or other officials the secret service protects.”
The case comes just weeks after the Supreme Court decision, Elonis v. United States in which the court ruled in favor of free speech on the internet, regardless of violence or threats. (RELATED: SCOTUS Vindicates Right To Say Insane Things On Internet)
Under the federal charge, he faces a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.
William Cintolo, O’Keefe’s attorney, declined to comment on his client’s background. He only said, “Our system works on a presumption of innocence.”
O’Keefe’s father allegedly told police that his son, who suffers from bipolar disorder, was not taking his medicine, reports WHDH.
Following his arrest, police found more than 100 weapons at his apartment and in his vehicle, including swords, double-edged knives, hatchets, spears and a DVD on cyanide.
According to court documents, when law enforcement officers tried to interview O’Keefe, he refused to speak with officers outside his home.
Of her neighbor, Lataisha Davis said, “That’s always scary to know that there’s someone right next door to you with thoughts like that in their head.”
O’Keefe is also currently involved an open case charging him with assault and dangerous weapon following an incident in November 2014 where he threatened officers with a samurai sword. He is currently being held in jail without bail.
O’Keefe is scheduled to appear in federal court on July 28.