MIAMI (AP) A Florida man has pleaded guilty to threatening to kill a lawyer representing the former Minneapolis police officer who was convicted of killing George Floyd.
William John Hartnett made the threat in a phone call from Miami on April 6, the US Department of Justice said in a press release on Thursday.
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Hartnett, 42, risks a maximum of five years in prison on sentencing Dec. 15. He pleaded guilty in a case of transmitting a threat through interstate communications.
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Prosecutors said Hartnett called the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, which paid for ex-officer Derek Chauvin’s defense. The 18-second message included several obscene threats against Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s defense attorney.
Chauvin was convicted in April of two counts of murder and one count of manslaughter for killing Floyd, a black man, by kneeling for more than nine minutes in May 2020. Floyd’s death sparked nationwide protests and called for police reforms that should reduce confrontation and violence.
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