NATIONAL NEWS

Montana man pleads not guilty to threatening to kill President Joe Biden, US Senator Jon Tester

Sep 27, 2023, 3:14 PM

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A Montana man has pleaded not guilty to federal charges alleging he threatened to kill President Joe Biden and U.S. Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, both Democrats, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Montana said.

Anthony James Cross of Billings entered his plea on Tuesday. He remains detained.

Cross, 29, has been held in the Yellowstone County jail since his arrest in late April on state charges alleging he threatened a neighbor with a pellet gun. He has pleaded not guilty to that charge, and his trial is scheduled for Oct. 30, according to court records.

State court records indicate the FBI contacted the Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office after Cross’ arrest to tell investigators that Cross posted a video on YouTube in which he threatened to kill President Biden and transgender people, The Billings Gazette reported at the time.

Federal prosecutors allege Cross said, “I will personally kill Joe Biden,” on April 10 and threatened Tester’s life on April 17. The federal indictment doesn’t indicate how those threats were made.

Tester’s office declined to comment, and the White House did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Cross’ federal defender, Gillian Gosch, did not return a voicemail seeking comment on Wednesday, and a phone number for Robert Kelleher Jr. — Cross’ attorney in the state case — repeatedly rang busy.

Another Montana man, Kevin Patrick Smith of Kalispell, was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison last month for leaving voicemail threats to kill Tester at his office in Kalispell.

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Montana man pleads not guilty to threatening to kill President Joe Biden, US Senator Jon Tester