Tucson, AZ–(ENEWSPF)– A federal grand jury in Tucson returned a one count indictment against Justin M. Hayes, 31, of Phoenix, for a violation of threatening to assault, kidnap, and murder officials or employees of the United States.
“This office takes threats against any individual, including public officials, with the utmost seriousness,” said Dennis K. Burke, U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona. “This is not protected speech. Such crimes endanger the civility our democracy is built upon.”
The indictment alleges that on April 23, 2010, Haynes called Congressman Raul Grijalva’s office located in Tucson and threatened to come down and “blow the brains out” of the Congressman and his staff members. Haynes claimed he was angry over Congressman Grijalva’s position on immigration issues. The defendant has been ordered to appear in federal district court in Tucson on June 24, 2010.
A conviction for threatening to assault, kidnap, and murder officials or employees of the United States carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. In determining an actual sentence, Judge Cindy K. Jorgenson will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. The judge, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.
An indictment is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted the FBI. The prosecution is being handled by Beverly K. Anderson, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Tucson.