By Beyza Binnur Donmez
ANKARA (AA) - A New York man has pleaded guilty to threatening to to kill Democrat Muslim Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, prosecutors said on Monday.
According to The Hill, a Washington-based newspaper and website, Patrick Carlineo Jr., 55, could face up to 10 years in prison and have to pay $250,000 after pleading guilty to threatening to assault and murder a U.S. official and being a felon in possession of firearms.
In a press release, U.S. Attorney James Kennedy Jr. said the case demonstrates that free speech does not protect people to “make threats to harm lawmakers simply because they may disagree with them.”
Carlineo's sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 14, the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Western District of New York announced in the release.
Sonya Zoughlin, Carlineo's counsel, told The Hill her client did not intend to cause harm to Omar.
"Pat Carlineo is passionate about his political beliefs and his right to express them," she said in an email statement. "He has taken responsibility for using threatening and inappropriate language to express those beliefs in this instance.”
Carlineo was arrested in April over a phone call he made on March 21 to Omar’s office, in which he said he'd put a "bullet in her skull".
The office reported police about the call and when he was arrested, he told police he supports Trump and hates radical Muslims in government during his questioning.