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Justice News

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

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

John Paul Sigl Pleads Guilty In U.S. Federal Court

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on May 1, 2013, before Senior U.S. District Judge Jack D. Shanstrom, JOHN PAUL SIGL, age 50, pled guilty to threats against the President. Sentencing has been set for August 7, 2013. He is currently detained.

In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica T. Fehr, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

On April 24, 2012, the U.S. Secret Service in Billings received a telephone call from the Billings Police Department about a threat against the President of the United States Barack Obama. The Billings Police Department reported that on April 19, 2012, the 911 call center received a threat against President Obama. The caller's name, making the threat, was John Paul Sigl.

On the same date the threat was called into the 911 call center, SIGL was involuntarily committed to the psychiatric unit of the Billings Clinic and had to be restrained due to physical confrontation and threats of death to the clinic staff.

On April 24, 2012, a U.S. Secret Service agent interviewed SIGL. Of significance were the following statements made by SIGL during the interview: a) SIGL stated his second wife died in 2009. SIGL expressed that be believed that the medication she received for her illness had grave side effects and resulted in her death. SIGL believes that the doctors who treated his deceased wife killed her and he views this as the ultimate injustice and feels he no longer has anything to live for and is motivated by justice being served on those he views as responsible; b) During the same interview SIGL stated no less than 20 times that "the politicians and the President" are responsible for allowing the doctors to kill his wife and they must die. SIGL stated that he needed to be "locked up for a very long time" because if he were to be released he "promised" he would find a way to kill those previously mentioned. SIGL iterated several times he should be taken seriously; c) SIGL stated he was not afraid of the consequences in attempting his purposes. SIGL told the Secret Service Agent several times that he would rather die than continue to live with his perceived injustice and that he would end up dead, imprisoned, or succeeding in his desire to kill those previously stated; d) SIGL stated he no longer has anything to live for as a result of his wife's death in 2009.

SIGL stated later in the same interview, when asked about weapons he may have access to, that he "knows how the streets work," and can get anything he wants "to get the job done." SIGL also stated, "You better take me serious," and "I promise you, if I get out of here, I will find a way to kill the President." SIGL's intent was clearly to harm or kill President Barak Obama.

On April 27, 2012, SIGL was admitted into Warm Springs State Hospital, was again involuntarily committed and had to be restrained due to physical confrontation and threats of death to the hospital staff.

On May 4, 2012, SIGL was again interviewed by law enforcement. SIGL continued to state that if released he intended to kill the President of the United States and anyone else he blamed for his wife's death. SIGL said, "I'll kill them all, the President, the doctors, the politicians. I can't live life like this." SIGL responded to law enforcement by saying that he was serious about his threats of death.

Interviews with SIGL's mental health providers confirmed that he was unstable with violent tendencies. The Secret Service agent that heard SIGL's repeated threats believed SIGL's intention was to harm the President of the United States.

SIGL faces possible penalties of 5 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Secret Service.

Updated January 14, 2015