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Man gets timed served, mental health treatment for threatening Trump online

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — An Illinois man will get mental health treatment and substance abuse counseling after pleading guilty to making online threats against President Donald Trump.

Joseph Lynn Pickett of Edwardsville was also ordered to spend six months behind bars for the June threats, though he’s already served the time since his arrest last year. Pickett pleaded guilty in an agreement with prosecutors in October, after authorities said he posted several times online that he wanted to assassinate Trump. The posts included frequent profanity and detailed death threats. Pickett also taunted federal authorities when he wasn’t immediately arrested.

On his Facebook page, Pickett wrote, “honestly am I really going to have to kill trump before our fine Government (the jack booted thugs they are) actually takes me into custody.” He continued, calling Trump “Benedict Arnold” who “deserved a blade in the neck.”

Pickett then sent a message to a friend, advising the person to call the police because he was in possession of two military-style rifles and two pistols and had an “excuse to use my firepower.” His co-workers reported the threatening posts. 

Pickett was arrested the U.S. Secret Service and told agents that he had thoughts of hurting himself and others. Under terms of his sentencing, he will be on supervised release (parole) for three years. R.

— with Staff Reports


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