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Press Release

Jury Convicts Springfield Man of Assaulting Secret Service Agent

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

DAYTON – A jury has convicted Ronald E. Skelton II, 23, of Springfield, of assaulting a federal agent and assaulting a Clark County Sheriff’s Office deputy assisting the federal agent.


Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Yvonne DiCristiforo, Special Agent in Charge, United States Secret Service, and Clark County Sheriff Deborah K. Burchett announced the verdict reached yesterday evening following a week-long trial before U.S. District Judge Walter H. Rice.


According to court documents and testimony presented at trial, agents with the United States Secret Service and a Clark County Sheriff’s Office deputy visited Skelton’s home in March 2015 to interview Skelton regarding posts he made on social media that were perceived as threatening physical harm toward the President of the United States.


Law enforcement had earlier received a call stating Skelton had posted threats on Twitter. A review of Skelton’s Twitter revealed messages saying, in part, “After @BarackObama and @HillaryClinton are cooked Heading over to @JebBush to kill him and daddy” and “After I chop up @BarackObama, remember, @HillaryClinton, My ginsu is coming for YOU!”


Skelton had also posted graphic threats on social media about killing police officers and their children.


Specifically, he tweeted, “I ain’t gonna cause a great big scene or anything #Police #Cops #LawEnforcement If you wish to die Please Step Foot on my land No probs” and “I’m tired of you #Terrorist rat bastards getting away #Police #Cops #LawEnforcement And I’m done You can get a #2ndAmendment to the skull”.


Law enforcement officials approached Skelton in front his home during the March 2015 visit and identified themselves, showing their credentials. As they attempted to speak to Skelton, he began yelling anti-government comments and became defiant and belligerent.


The Sheriff’s deputy approached Skelton so he could be checked for weapons. At that point, Skelton swung and struck the deputy in the head and stuck one the Secret Service agents in the face, breaking the agent’s nose and requiring surgery.


A grand jury indicted Skelton in March 2015. Skelton agreed to plead guilty to the charges in January 2016 but was later permitted to withdraw his guilty plea. At trial, the jury rejected Skelton’s claim that he was insane at the time of the offenses.


“Secret Service agents provide physical protection to our nation’s highest elected leaders,” said U.S. Attorney Glassman. “Working together with local law enforcement, they run down, assess, and defuse potential threats virtually every day. It’s a dangerous job, and we have their backs. Yesterday’s jury verdict vindicates the need to provide whatever protection we can to the men and women who protect us.”


Assaulting a federal agent and inflicting bodily injury is a crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Assaulting a law enforcement officer who is assisting a federal agent carries a potential maximum of eight years in prison.


U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the cooperative investigation by the Secret Service and Clark County Sheriff’s Office, as well as Assistant United States Attorneys Andrew J. Hunt and Dominick S. Gerace, who are representing the United States in this case. 



Updated March 7, 2019