Denver man facing felony charges for threatening congressman

Several of the threats were racially charged, allegedly showing a "clear racial animus" for the congressman.
Published: Apr. 12, 2023 at 12:54 PM MDT
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BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (KKCO) - A Denver man is facing multiple charges after being accused of threatening Colorado Congressman Joe Neguse.

The threats, several of which were violent and racially charged, were left on Neguse’s office voicemail.

As reported by KUSA in Denver, Michael Kennedy appeared in Boulder County Court Tuesday afternoon on a video uplink from the Denver Jail. Kennedy was charged with two felonies— stalking and threats in repeated communication and retaliation against an elected official. He also faces the misdemeanor charge of committing a bias-motivated crime.

According to court documents, Kennedy left 17 voicemail messages at Neguse’s office. Several messages were violent in nature, saying, “I only need one bullet pointed at your head,” “I got me a AK-47 pointed directly at you.”

Prosecutors say the messages showed “clear racial animus” for Neguse as the only black person ever elected to congress from Colorado. Kennedy made frequent references to a mass shooting committed by a white supremacist in Buffalo, New York, that left 10 people dead. All of the victims were black.

One message called for Democrats to “stand up and say white supremacy.” In another, Kennedy allegedly modified Neguse’s name to a similarly-spelled racial slur.

The judge overseeing the trial refused to lower Kennedy’s $50,000 bail and set a preliminary hearing for May 1.

Tuesday’s hearing concluded after less than 10 minutes.

Investigators searched Kennedy’s house last summer and didn’t find any weapons, but Kennedy allegedly told police that the wanted to buy a 9mm gun because it “packs a punch” and he wanted it to “have, hold, caress, and love.”