ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) – A western New York man has pleaded guilty to threatening to kill U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.
Patrick Carlineo entered the plea Monday in Rochester to charges that carry up to 10 years in prison. His sentencing is set for February.
Omar, a Democrat, is among the first Muslim women in Congress.
Prosecutors say the 55-year-old Carlineo called her office March 21, told a staffer the congresswoman was a “terrorist” and threatened to shoot her.
His lawyer, Sonya Zoghlin, says Carlineo is passionate about his beliefs and has taken responsibility for using threatening language to express them. Zoghlin says Carlineo never intended to harm Omar.
U.S. Attorney James Kennedy Jr. says the case highlights that free speech rights carry responsibilities not to threaten lawmakers because of disagreements with them.