News and Press Releases

kC man sentenced for making threats against psychologist

March 23, 2011

KANSAS CITY, Mo.– Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for making threats against a psychologist as part of his effort to receive Social Security disability benefits.

Tyrone L. Holman, 32, of Kansas City, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Howard F. Sachs to three years and four months in federal prison without parole.

On Oct. 8, 2010, Holman pleaded guilty to obstructing the federal proceedings before a federal agency.

Holman, who applied for Title II disability benefits and Supplemental Security Income on Dec. 23, 2008, left several threatening voice messages on the answering machine of a psychologist to whom he had been referred for evaluation. Those threats, Holman admitted, were intended to influence the processing of his claim by the Social Security Administration.

Holman called the psychologist several times between Dec. 23 and Dec. 29, 2008, while the psychologist was on vacation and unavailable. When he returned from vacation, he retrieved the voice messages that had been left by Holman. In those messages, Holman blamed the psychologist for causing the death of his twin brother.

According to the plea agreement, Holman was arrested in August 2006 for murdering his brother and pleaded guilty to 1st degree involuntary manslaughter. Holman had earlier applied for Social Security benefits, in 2004 and 2006, but was denied. If he had not been denied those benefits, Holman claimed in his voice message, his brother would still be alive. Although Holman never met with the psychologist in 2006, he blamed him for the denial of those benefits.

Holman demanded that the psychologist immediately pay him $90,000 as a form of restitution for the time he was incarcerated for killing his brother. Holman also threatened to file a "multi-million dollar lawsuit" against the psychologist.

This case was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Trey Alford. It was investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations.

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