Illinois man pleads not guilty to
threatening to assassinate Trump
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[June 29, 2017]
By Julia Jacobs
CHICAGO (Reuters) - An Illinois man charged
with threatening to assassinate U.S. President Donald Trump after his
Facebook posts were reported to authorities pleaded not guilty on
Wednesday, according to court documents.
Joseph Lynn Pickett, of Edwardsville, Illinois, pleaded not guilty to
the federal charge of making a threat against the president at his
appearance in the U.S. District Court in East St. Louis, Illinois,
according to court documents. The felony charge was filed on June 15.
If convicted, Pickett faces up to five years in prison.
Pickett's attorney, Thomas Gabel, could not immediately be reached for
U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Williams ordered Pickett held in custody
until his jury trial at the end of August. That location was not
Pickett made the Facebook posts on June 14 and 15 and his former
coworkers then alerted the U.S. Secret Service, according to court
documents. He wrote that the Republican president deserved to be killed
and goaded Secret Service officers to arrest him, according to court
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"The secret service (sic) now has a heads up as to my plan to
assassinate Trump," Pickett wrote, according to court documents.
"letís see if they act!"
Pickett said Trump needed a "blade in his neck," according to court
documents. He also wrote that he had multiple guns.
Pickett was fired from his job at a Lowe's home improvement store in
Granite City, Illinois, between six and eight months ago for
threatening a coworker, according to court documents.
On June 15, two Lowe's workers notified the Secret Service's St.
Louis office of Pickett's online threats to the president, the
The court decided Pickett should be held in custody to assure
others' safety and because of the defendant's "mental instability,"
according to court documents.
(Editing by Matthew Lewis)
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