NY man sentenced for political Facebook threats

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) - A man who admitted making death threats on Facebook against the top Democrats in Congress and other high-ranking officeholders was sentenced Wednesday to 15 months in prison at a court session that focused on his alcoholism.

Lawrence Mulqueen, 50, told the federal judge the postings would not have appeared "if I'd had the opportunity to review them after sobering up."

Mulqueen admitted in May that he had threatened the lives of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey and members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

"I cannot wait to start killing the scum," he wrote under a pseudonym on Facebook. The federal complaint also attributed various racist and obscene rants to Mulqueen.

He told Judge Kenneth Karas, "I'm truly sorry for the content of these statements and the violence they imply."

The judge said, "Sometimes those statements lead to bad things being done to the public officials. ... It was public. It's a Facebook page."

He also told Mulqueen, "You're entitled to your opinions, you're just not entitled to having them be threatening."

The judge noted that Mulqueen, having been jailed since February, had had sobriety "foisted on him." He ordered treatment as part of the sentence and warned him that unless he stayed sober, he might be back in court.

Mulqueen's attorney, Jason Ser, said Mulqueen "becomes a totally different person when he drinks."

Mulqueen's landlady called police on him in February, alleging harassment. She told police about the Facebook page, and they found a variety of weapons, including two rifles. Weapons charges are pending in Rockland County Court.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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