Oregon inmate admits threatening to kill president

Oregon inmate admits threatening to kill president
David Earl Anderson Jr.

PORTLAND, Ore. - A prison inmate who sent letters proclaiming his "100% serious" intent to kill President Obama faces up to 5 years in prison after pleading guilty Tuesday to mailing a letter threatening to kill the president.

David Earl Anderson Jr., 27, pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown scheduled sentencing for Jan. 10, 2011. The offense carries a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison and a fine of $100,000.

According to prosecutors, in August 2009, Anderson was serving a sentence in the custody of the Oregon Corrections Department in a secure unit for criminal defendants at the Oregon State Hospital.

Anderson broke out of the hospital on August 15, 2009, and fled to Utah with the help of a girlfriend, prosecutors said. Police arrested him on August 16, 2009, in Ogden, Utah.

After his return to Oregon, he was placed in the Oregon State Penitentiary.

In October 2009, Anderson mailed a series of letters from the penitentiary claiming he was part of a group that intended to kill President Obama.

The letters, sent to the Oregon State Police, his girlfriend in Idaho and a family in Utah, proclaimed Anderson’s white separatist beliefs and his “100% serious” intent to kill the president for racial reasons.

The U.S. Secret Service interviewed Anderson at the Oregon State Penitentiary on Oct. 29, 2009. He acknowledged sending the letters and expressed his desire to see the president killed, prosecutors said. He reiterated his white separatist views and admitted a fascination with firearms.

A federal grand jury indicted him on December 8, 2009. On December 10, 2009, the U.S. Attorney’s Office received a letter from Anderson stating, “I feel it is my right to feel the way I do, and if I want to kill the president like I plan on doing that is also my right.”

In a second letter received by the U.S. Attorney’s Office on Dec. 21, 2009, Anderson withdrew his threat and apologized.

The Secret Service investigation revealed that the white separatist group mentioned by Anderson did not exist, prosecutors said.