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Press Release

Lebanon Man Sentenced For Threatening To Murder Members Of The United States Senate

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a former attorney, Kenelm L. Shirk, age 72, of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to time served of 16 months and 20 days’ imprisonment, a $10,000 fine, and one year of supervised release with conditions by U.S. District Court Judge Jennifer P. Wilson, for threatening to murder members of the United States Senate.

According to United States Attorney John C. Gurganus, on March 7, 2022, Shirk pleaded guilty to making threats to murder Democratic members of the United States Senate. On January 21, 2021, Shirk made threats to murder Democratic members of the United States Senate in retaliation for the performance of their official duties on January 6, 2021. Later that day, on January 21, 2021, Pennsylvania State Police troopers arrested Shirk while he was en route to Washington D.C. A search of Shirk’s vehicle recovered two handguns and an AR-15 rifle and loaded magazines, as well as hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

Shirk has remained in custody since this incident when bail was denied.  As part of his supervision, Shirk was ordered to comply with psychiatric counseling, forfeit the weapons and ammunition involved with the case and provide a DNA sample. 

The Court expressed gratitude to the law enforcement responders and Chambersburg Hospital staff for their efforts in this matter. 

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Franklin County District Attorney’s Office, the Cornwall Police Department, and the Washington D.C. Capitol Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jaime M. Keating prosecuted the case.

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Updated July 15, 2022