Florida man is sentenced to prison for violent threats against Pelosi and others

Paul Vernon Hoeffer, the Florida man who repeatedly threatened House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and Cook County, Illinois, Prosecutor Kim Foxx with violence, is going to jail.

NBC News reports that Hoeffer, 60, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison, and three years of supervised release. 

What did he do?

The threats of violence that Hoeffer made occurred during a period from 2019 to 2020, starting in March of 2019. Hoeffer, according to court documents, called Pelosi’s office and threatened to “come a long, long way to rattle her head with bullets” if she doesn’t resign. In a separate call, he also threatened to behead Pelosi “jihadist-style.”

Hoeffer next targeted Foxx. He left her voicemails in which he used racial slurs while threatening to kill her.

Then Hoeffer targeted Ocasio-Cortez. He called her office and threatened to decapitate her, telling her to “keep one eye open” while she sleeps.

On one occasion, Pelosi’s office transferred Hoeffer to U.S. Capitol Police, who asked him if he knew that such threats were illegal. He responded, “You know how hard it is to prove someone made a threat?”

Hoeffer, after several of his threats, also received a visit from the FBI, who went to his home and asked him to stop the threats. At the time, he said that he would.

Justice?

In January, Hoeffer pled guilty to three counts of interstate transmission of threats to kidnap or injure.

For these charges, Hoeffer was facing 33 to 41 months in prison.

The prosecution was asking for 41. It argued:

Defendant, someone who represents himself as gainfully employed, a hardworking individual with various responsibilities in life, found time to call women to tell them he was going to shoot them in the head, or cut their heads off, and that they were going to die. And he did not do it once, but multiple times on multiple days.

Hoeffer, on the other hand, admitted that what he does was wrong and, accordingly, he asked the court for “leniency and mercy.” The judge appears to have sided with Hoeffer on the sentencing, only giving him 18 months out of the recommended 33 to 41. Hoeffer, though, did receive an additional three years of supervised release.

The fact that Hoeffer has an aggressive form of cancer factored into the judge’s decision.

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