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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Colorado

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Jefferson County Inmate Sentenced To 40 Months In Federal Prison For Threatening The President Of The United States

DENVER – Patrick James Murray, age 50, formerly an inmate of the Jefferson County Jail, but now in federal custody, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Court Judge Wiley Y. Daniel to serve 40 months in federal prison for threatening to kill the President of the United States.  The sentence is to run consecutively with a 7 year state prison sentence the defendant is already serving regarding the illegal possession of a weapon and eluding police.  Once released from prison, Murray was ordered to serve 3 years on supervised release. 

Murray was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on March 22, 2012.  He pled guilty to Threats against the President of the United States before Judge Daniel on September 3, 2014.  He was sentenced yesterday, January 6, 2015.

According to the stipulated facts contained in the plea agreement, on or about February 3, 2012, a letter addressed to a United States District Judge was delivered via U.S. Mail to the Alfred Arraj Courthouse in downtown Denver.  The envelope had as a return address:  Patrick J. Murray, with his registration number at the Jefferson County Detention Facility.  In the enclosed letter, Murray stated that he was no longer intending to kill the particular U.S. District Judge to whom he had sent the letter, but instead, that he now planned to kill the President.

On February 5, 2012, a special agent with the United States Secret Service met with the defendant at his place of incarceration.  After acknowledging that he understood his rights and agreeing to speak with the agent, the defendant admitted that he wrote and mailed the letter threatening the President.  He also stated his intention to kill the President when he got out of jail.  After the interview with the Secret Service agent, the defendant mailed two additional letters to the same U.S. District Judge.  The first was a letter addressed to the President, expressing his intent to assassinate him.  The second letter was addressed to Judge Krieger asking that she forward the first letter to the President. 

“As today’s prison sentence demonstrates, threats against any public official, and especially a threat against the President of the United States, are serious crimes,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh.  “In this day and age, threats to public officials – whether to law enforcement, to state or local officials, or to federal officials – will draw a quick, determined and effective response.”

This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service. 

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James Allison, Chief of the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney’s Office, District of Colorado.

Updated June 22, 2015