A 77-year-old man, Steven Arthur Martis, has been convicted for threatening Speaker Nancy Pelosi with death. The Bullhead City, Arizona man called Pelosi’s office on January 17 and left two voicemails in which he warned that the Speaker of the House of Representatives would be killed.
In the first voicemail, Martis warned Pelosi that “I’m coming to kill you” and then followed with another message in which he said “You’re dead” to the top politician. A year ago, Martis also called another member of Congress and threatened him with death, prompting the FBI to visit him and warn him against such conduct.
The US Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona charged and convicted Martis of sending an interstate threat. He was tried on other charges, but the jury was deadlocked and a mistrial is set for January 22, 2022. The Acting United States Attorney Glenn McCormick said threatening another person will not go without punishment in the country.
“This case is an important reminder that, although the First Amendment protects our right to free speech, which is one of our most precious individual rights, the United States Attorney’s Office takes threats to kill or harm another individual through a phone call or other form of interstate communication very seriously,” McCormick stated.
Martis’s attorney, Dave Eisenberg, said his client has been in custody since February, and that he will urge the court to sentence him to the time served. The maximum sentence for his conviction is five years in prison.
In a related development, 52-year-old Christopher Kent Podlesnik of Laramie in Wyoming was convicted for threatening two Congress members and a state senator. He was sentenced to one and half years in prison and a $10,000 fine. He was sentenced on November 5. Podlesnik pleaded guilty to threatening Senator Cynthia Lummis, Rep. Matt Gaetz, and Wyoming State Senator Anthony Bouchard.