Man Sentenced to 33 Months For Threats Against Rep. Waters

( – A Texas man has been jailed for almost three years after threatening to kill a left-wing congresswoman. Brian Michael Gaherty made four calls to Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) in 2022. His lawyers argued that his threats weren’t credible, and blamed Gaherty’s mental illness, but a jury wasn’t convinced.

Between August 8 and November 10, 2022, Waters found four voicemails on her answering service. Each of the messages contained a threat to assault or kill her, including one threat to cut her throat. Waters, who has repeatedly caused controversy with her own calls for confrontation and threats, contacted police.

The calls were quickly traced back to 60-year-old Gaherty of Houston who had also allegedly threatened officials and journalists in his hometown. On April 21 last year Gaherty was indicted on four counts of making threats in interstate communications and four of threatening a US official.

On January 29, Gaherty pleaded guilty to one count of threatening an official, covering all four of the calls. His legal team called for him to be sentenced to home confinement, arguing that he’s had serious mental health issues since he was shot outside his home in 2016.

Lawyer Joseph Vinas said Gaherty, who was shot in the hip while he washed his car, suffers from PTSD, bipolar disorder, and depression, and said the Bureau of Prisons “is not equipped” to care for someone with so many physical and mental problems. Vinas also argued that Gaherty’s mental problems were the reason he made the calls to Waters in the first place.

Rejecting Vinas’s call for home confinement, Los Angeles District Judge Gary Klausner ruled that Waters’s race was an aggravating factor in Gaherty’s targeting of her. He sentenced him to 33 months in prison as well as a $10,000 fine, which includes a “hate-crime enhancement.”

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