NATIONAL NEWS

Montana man sentenced to federal prison for threatening to kill US Sen. Jon Tester

Aug 24, 2023, 1:27 PM

This undated booking photo provided by the Missoula County, Mont., Sheriff's Office shows Kevin Pat...

This undated booking photo provided by the Missoula County, Mont., Sheriff's Office shows Kevin Patrick Smith. Smith was sentenced on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023, to 30 months in federal prison for threatening the life of Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester in voicemails left at the senator's office in Kalispell, Mont., where Smith lives. (Missoula County Sheriff's Office via AP)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(Missoula County Sheriff's Office via AP)

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — A Montana man was sentenced Thursday to 2 1/2 years in federal prison for threatening to kill U.S. Sen. Jon Tester in voicemails left at the Democratic lawmaker’s office.

Kevin Patrick Smith, of Kalispell, pleaded guilty in April to one count of threats to injure and murder a U.S. senator. U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen dismissed a second count as part of a plea agreement.

Smith, 46, made the threats because he was upset with Tester’s political decisions, court records said.

On Jan, 30, Smith made threatening phone calls to Tester’s office. The voicemails included threats to “rip your head off” and were laced with profanity. The caller acknowledged in a recording that he was threatening Tester “on purpose,” court records said. One voicemail challenged Tester to contact the FBI.

The FBI contacted Smith on Feb. 1 and told him to stop threatening the senator. But 10 days later, the threatening calls resumed, and Smith was arrested Feb. 22, the documents show.

The criminal complaint, which was later replaced by an indictment, said calls from Smith’s phone number to Tester’s office began in late 2022.

Tester is seeking his fourth term in the U.S. Senate. A third-generation farmer and former music teacher, Tester has leaned on a folksy speaking style and populist-themed messages to overcome Republican opponents in each of his last three elections.

A spokesperson for Tester, Harry Child, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

National News

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at her campaign headquarters in Wilmington, Del., Monday, July ...

Associated Press

Democrats plan to push ahead with virtual roll call ahead of their convention, with Harris favored

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Democratic Party plans to push forward with a virtual roll call in which delegates to its convention can choose a presidential nominee before they meet in person next month in Chicago, with Vice President Kamala Harris heavily favored now that President Joe Biden has abandoned his reelection bid. The convention rules […]

54 minutes ago

Associated Press

Safety regulators are investigating another low flight by a Southwest jet, this time in Florida

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal officials are investigating an incident in which a Southwest Airlines jet flew as low as 150 feet (45 meters) over water while it was still about 5 miles (8 kilometers) from its intended landing spot at the airport in Tampa, Florida. The pilots skipped over the Tampa airport and landed instead […]

1 hour ago

FILE - A motorist passes by a flag of the Islamic State group in central Rawah, 175 miles (281 kilo...

Associated Press

UN envoy warns that threat of terrorism is `resurging’ with attacks by Islamic State extremists

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The top U.N. envoy for Syria told the Security Council on Monday that the threat of terrorism is “resurging” with attacks by Islamic State extremists set to double this year, endangering civilians already facing a “protracted state of displacement and dire humanitarian conditions.” U.N. Special Envoy Geir Pedersen said Syria is […]

1 hour ago

Police vehicles park outside a JCPenney as they respond to a reported shooting at NorthPark Mall in...

Associated Press

Local sheriff says shots fired inside an Iowa mall

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Shots were fired inside an Iowa mall on Monday, a local sheriff said. There was no immediate word on any injuries. Scott County Sheriff Tim Lane confirmed the shooting Monday inside NorthPark Mall in Davenport, an east-central Iowa city near the border with Illinois, KWQC-TV reported. Authorities haven’t said if there […]

1 hour ago

FILE - Founder & CEO, for California Forever Jan Sramek talks to reporters after a news conference ...

Associated Press

Silicon Valley-backed voter plan for a new California city won’t be on the November ballot after all

FAIRFIELD, Calif. (AP) — A Silicon Valley-backed initiative to build a green city for up to 400,000 people in the San Francisco Bay Area on land now zoned for agriculture won’t be on the Nov. 5 ballot after all, officials said Monday. The California Forever campaign qualified for the ballot in June, but a Solano […]

1 hour ago

Kimberly Cheatle, Director, U.S. Secret Service, testifies during a House Committee on Oversight an...

Associated Press

Conservatives use shooting at Trump rally to attack DEI efforts at Secret Service

As Congressional members on both sides of the aisle grilled U.S. Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle Monday on how a gunman was able to fire shots at former President Donald Trump in an assassination attempt, several Republican lawmakers seized on gender and the agency’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts as among the reasons for the […]

2 hours ago

Montana man sentenced to federal prison for threatening to kill US Sen. Jon Tester