A federal judge dismissed the criminal case against a Michigan man who was accused of threatening to kill President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Patricia Morris said after the defendant appeared in court for a preliminary examination and hearing the arguments from the government and defense counsel, she would dismiss the case because she could not find probable cause for further proceedings.
Russell Warren, the defendant, was ordered to be released from the custody of the U.S. Marshal Service after the charges were dismissed against him.
Warren “did not say that he was going to do anything to harm either the president or (Harris),” Morris told The Detroit News via email after the hearing. “His message called on someone or others to ‘take’ him or her and he wanted them to be taken to prison where they would be hanged, which would be accomplished by law enforcement and the courts.”
“He did not threaten to take or kidnap them to any secluded place nor did he threaten to harm them by his own hands,” Morris added.
Warren, 49, was charged on Monday with making threats to kill the president, vice president and other senior U.S. government officials.
His account on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, showed hundreds of messages where he threatened public figures including journalists, celebrities, former Cabinet members of the Trump administration and 2024 presidential candidates, as well as other politicians.
He also made threats to destroy the Smithsonian museums, Air Force One, Disney theme parks, One World Trade Center, Mount Rushmore and other locations.
The U.S. Secret Service identified Warren using his IP address and arrested him on Jan. 29. He was previously arrested on charges of assault with a deadly weapon in 2022.
The charge of threats against the president and other senior government officials can bring a prison sentence of up to five years if convicted.