A judge decided that the man accused of threatening to kill Alaska’s two US senators will remain in custody after he pleaded not guilty Monday.

Jay Allen Johnson, who was arrested on Oct. 4, is accused of making threats against US senators Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski, and of threatening to burn down Murkowski's properties. The threats were made in a series of voice messages that were left at their offices in Washington, D.C. in the last few months.

Assistant US Attorney Ryan Tansey said that if Johnson is convicted, he could face a maximum sentence of 50 years in jail and a fine up to to $1.5 million.

During Johnson's arraignment in US District Court in Fairbanks, his attorney Jason Weiner entered the plea on his client's behalf, reported WFTV. At the hearing, Johnson greeted US Magistrate Judge Scott Oravec by wishing him Happy Thanksgiving and saying that he was sorry he was at the court.

Last week, he was indicted on six criminal counts, including being a felon in possession of firearms, threatening to kill an American official and threatening to destroy property by using fire, according to Associated Press.

Johnson is a felon who is not legally allowed to possess firearms, so the government is seeking to confiscate a shotgun, a rifle, three revolvers and two pistols that were found on his property in rural Alaska.

During the arraignment, Weiner told his client that he asked the government prosecutor for a plea deal offer. “But at this point, he couldn’t give me one. He’s got to do some consultation in order to do that,” the lawyer said in court.

During a separate hearing Friday, Oravec ordered the detention of the accused to continue till Monday, and said that he saw no reason to “disturb that ruling at this point.”

At an earlier hearing, the accused, who is a felon because of a drunk driving conviction in 2016 that came after two more previous drunk driving convictions, said that he is “a senior citizen and I am highly disabled and I will not be carrying out any of these threats.”

During his detention hearing last month, his wife, Catherine Pousson-Johnson, testified that he “gets very angry listening to politics on the news," and was in pain after undergoing recent surgeries.

The Ohio Supreme Court removed Judge Pinkey S. Carr, a Cleveland municipal judge, on Tuesday from the bench. Pixabay.

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.