[Fox News] Texas man convicted of threatening to kill Rep Maxine Waters gets nearly 3 years in prison

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A Texas man received a nearly three-year-long jail sentence after his criminal conviction for leaving threatening and racist voicemails for California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters. 

United States District Judge R. Gary Klausner sentenced Brian Michael Gaherty, 61, of Houston, to 33 months in federal prison and fined him $10,000. The judge found that Gaherty targeted Waters because of her race and added a hate-crime enhancement to his sentence, the Department of Justice said in a news release. 

“Threats to harm or kill elected officials are anathema to our nation’s values and must not — and will not — be tolerated,” said United States Attorney Martin Estrada. “My office and the entire Department of Justice will continue to combat threats against public officials and other attempts to chill democracy.”

Gaherty pleaded guilty on Jan. 29 to one count of threatening a United States official.

TEXAS MAN ACCUSED OF THREATENING TO KILL REP. MAXINE WATERS IN RACIST VOICEMAILS

In his plea agreement, Gaherty admitted to threatening to assault and murder Waters on four separate occasions in August and November 2022. The threats were made in four voicemails left at Waters’ district office in Los Angeles County, which all contained profanity and racist language. 

According to an affidavit given by U.S. Capitol Police agent Michael Guest, Gaherty went on a series of racist tirades against the California congresswoman, at one point saying, “Hey, you black b—-.  You f— with my people man. All that racism s— b—-, you up in age, 80 years old and s—, trying to remember 1960 and all that bulls—. And causing controversy b—-.  We got something for your ass now b—-, you black motherf—–.  Yeah, we coming for you bro.”

In August 2022, he threatened to “put a cap” between the lawmaker’s “eyes,” “cut [her] throat,” and “stomp” her. Gaherty also warned that she “better move” because he and his “boys in the area” had a “contract” on her life.” 

Gaherty also left threatening messages with Waters’ staff, according to the criminal complaint.

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“Tell Congresswoman Maxine Waters when I see her on the street I’m going to bust her upside her head,” Gaherty told a staffer. “F—, who this is, tell that lying b—- I’m looking for her.”

Gaherty did not conceal his phone number, allowing U.S. Capitol Police to easily trace the source of the calls via data from T-Mobile and TracFone.

Authorities contacted Gaherty and warned him to stop in October 2022, but he persisted in making violent threats. In a November 2022 voicemail, Gaherty told the congresswoman she “done [expletive] up” by reporting his threats to law enforcement. 

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“You better watch your back,” he told her, according to investigators. 

Waters appeared in federal court on Monday and told Judge Klausner that her family members live “in fear every day” because of the threats made by Gaherty, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“This growing effort to target people of color and women of color … has given me nightmares. I am in fear of my life,” Waters said. 

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“I believe that we must all be held accountable. Nobody is above the law.” 

Joe Vinas, Gaherty’s defense attorney, said, “Mr. Gaherty was himself the victim of a horribly violent crime in 2016 and suffers from an extreme, chronic case of PTSD. Before he was shot and robbed at his own home, he led an exemplary life. Had he not been a crime victim himself, this case never would have happened.”

“Congresswoman Waters was present in court Monday and Mr. Gaherty extended a sincere and heartfelt apology to her,” Vinas continued. “Because of his mental health condition, that includes but is not limited to his PTSD, he did not remember making the comments to her. However, he now realizes he did and is incredibly remorseful.”

Fox News’ Timothy H.J. Nerozzi contributed to this report.

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