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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Tennessee

Friday, September 16, 2016

Murfreesboro Man Charged with Threatening to Murder Member of United States Congress

A Murfreesboro, Tenn. man was taken into custody this morning by FBI agents and U.S. Capitol Police, after a criminal complaint was issued, charging him with threatening to murder a United States official and transmitting in interstate commerce, a communication containing a threat, announced David Rivera, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.

Agents arrested Keahiokahouna Stewart, 36, at his Murfreesboro home this morning without incident. Stewart is scheduled to make an initial appearance later today before a U.S. magistrate judge in Nashville.

According to the criminal complaint, beginning in August 2016 and continuing through September 12, 2016, Stewart sent threatening emails and posted threatening videos to Instagram accounts, which he created. In an email dated August 19, 2016, Stewart indicates that he will fly from Nashville to Honolulu on November 1, 2016, with the intent to shoot people at the Princess Jonah Federal Building. The specific targets of these threats were U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono, who represents the State of Hawaii and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who represents the 2nd District for the State of Hawaii.  

The complaint outlines that beginning in November 2013, Stewart sent a series of “Grievances” to various U.S. officials and departments, including Senator Hirono and Congresswoman Gabbard, inquiring about Stewart’s Social Security number. Stewart falsely believed that his SSN had been duplicated and issued to a fellow soldier he met while stationed at Camp Stanley in Korea, in 2002. In subsequent correspondence to the Social Security Administration and Department of Defense, Stewart demands he be awarded 100% disability and $50 billion.

As set forth in the complaint, Stewart’s actions continued to be investigated by law enforcement including a May 2015 visit to Senator Hirono’s office in Washington, D.C., which resulted in the U.S. Capitol Police being called. In subsequent Facebook and Instagram posts, Stewart continued to post comments about the issue and display photos of himself with firearms. In an Instagram video posted by Stewart on September 8, 2016, he states that he is flying to Honolulu on November 1, 2016, and will be traveling with an AR-15 and two handguns. Stewart further states that he has already shipped a silencer for one of the handguns and that it is stored in a garage in Waianae, Hawaii. 

Investigators recently determined that Stewart had purchased an airline ticket to travel from Nashville to Honolulu on November 1, 2016, however it had been “exchanged,” which would allow the ticket holder to travel on any other date. 

If convicted, Stewart faces up to 10 years in prison on the charge of threatening to murder a U.S. official and up to 5 years in prison on the charge of communicating threats through interstate commerce.

A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law. 

This case is being investigated by the FBI and the United States Capitol Police. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Van Vincent.

Violent Crimes
Updated September 16, 2016