A Detroit man who was arrested for making “credible threats” to kill Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel could face up to 20 years in prison, the New York Times reports.
32-year-old Robert S. Tesh made what prosecutors call “credible threats” to kill the governor and attorney general on April 14. According to Michigan State Police spokesperson Lieutenant Mike Shaw, Tesh used multiple social media platforms to send messages about the death threats to an acquaintance.
After receiving a tip about the threats, police arrested Tesh in his home the same day, the spokesperson said.
Tesh has been charged with false report of a threat of terrorism and could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted, according to the New York Times.
Prosecutor Kym Worthy told the Associated Press on Friday that “Emotions are heightened on all sides now.”
“These threats … they are not funny. They are not jokes. There is nothing humorous about it. Even if you don’t carry it out, we’re going to charge you criminally,” she added. “The alleged facts in this case lay out a very disturbing scenario.”
“We understand that these times can be stressful and upsetting for many people,” Worthy added. “But we will not and cannot tolerate threats like these against any public officials who are carrying out their duties as efficiently as they can. You can disagree with their positions or their methodology, but you absolutely cannot act as this defendant allegedly acted or you will be charged criminally.”
Maria Miller, a spokeswoman for the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, said that the threats were not related to the stay-at-home orders issued by Whitmer in March. The governor has faced intense backlash for continuing her stay-at-home orders, and has been the target of several protests and faced criticism from the president.
President Trump called out the Michigan governor, saying in a tweet that “Gretchen ‘Half’ Whitmer is way in over her head,” and “likes blaming everyone for her own ineptitude!”
I love Michigan, one of the reasons we are doing such a GREAT job for them during this horrible Pandemic. Yet your Governor, Gretchen “Half” Whitmer is way in over her head, she doesn’t have a clue. Likes blaming everyone for her own ineptitude! #MAGA
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2020
After the governor said April 23 that the coronavirus lockdowns might have to be extended into May due to the ongoing demonstrations, anti-lockdown protesters showed up at her front door April 24. That same day, the governor extended her stay-at-home order to May 15. (RELATED: ‘I Don’t Have Proof’: Whitmer Balks When Challenged By Reporter About Claim That Protests Are Spreading Coronavirus”
Demonstrations continued into May. Hundreds of people stood in the rain outside of Michigan’s state capitol on Thursday, calling for Whitmer to allow businesses to reopen and loosen coronavirus restrictions, the Associated Press reported.