A Spokane man could serve his sentence on home dention after pelading guilty Wednesday to threatening a Colorado doctor who offers late-term abortions three weeks after the killing of a Kansas doctor who also provided the procedure, according to a plea agreement.
Donald Hertz, 70, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Spokane to one count of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act and one count of transmitting a threat in interstate commerce.
The charges carry up to six years in federal prison and up to $350,000 fine at his Oct. 27 sentencing, but the plea agreement says prosecutors won't oppose Hertz's request to serve an incarceration sentence in home detention.
Hertz admitted that he intentionally intimidated Dr. William Hern of the Boulder Abortion Clinic and his employees. According to court records, Hertz contacted the clinic and stated that two of his associates were driving to Boulder, Colo., to kill members of the doctor’s family.
Hertz made the threat just after the May 2009 killing of Dr. George Tiller, a Wichita, Kan., physician who was one of a few doctors in the nation who performed late-term abortions.
“The defendant’s conviction should sent a clear message to others who would carry out similar criminal acts that they will be brought to justice and held accountable for their actions,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Perez said in a news release.