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Press Release

Kalispell man admits threatening to murder U.S. Sen. Jon Tester

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

MISSOULA — A Kalispell man accused of threatening to kill Montana U.S. Senator Jon Tester in calls to his office admitted to a threats charge today, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Kevin Patrick Smith, 46, pleaded guilty to threats to murder a United States Senator. Smith faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen L. DeSoto presided. A sentencing date was set for Aug. 24 before U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen. The court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. Smith was detained pending further proceedings.

The government alleged in court documents that on Jan. 30, Smith made numerous threatening phone calls to Sen. Tester, a member of Congress, by leaving voicemails at Sen. Tester’s Kalispell office.

In one message, Smith said:

 “There is nothing I want more than to have you stand toe to toe with me. You stand toe to toe with me. I rip your head off. You die. You stand in a situation where it is physical between you and me. You die.”


“I will never stop … And I would love to destroy you and rip your (obscenity) head from your shoulders. That is no problem. Call that a threat. Send the FBI.”

Smith also left a message for Sen. Tester that said:

“I would love to (obscenity) kill you. I would love to see your FBI at my door. I would love to see something in the news.”

Smith acknowledged in the recordings that he threatened Sen. Tester and such threats were “on purpose.” Smith made the threats because he was upset with Sen. Tester’s political decisions.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan G. Weldon is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the FBI and U.S. Capitol Police.



Clair Johnson Howard

Public Affairs Officer


Updated April 21, 2023

Press Release Number: 23-130