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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: debates

Feds: Man threatened to kill Sen. Murray

A Spokane man arrested outside a U.S. senate candidates debate with knives and a meat cleaver has been charged in federal court. 

John Jay Sieler, 50, is accused of threatening to kill U.S. Senator Patty Murray on Oct. 14 as he drove by her supporters waving a meat cleaver and shouting profanities.

Sieler was arrested outside KSPS studios, where Murray and Republican candidate Dino Rossi were scheduled to debate later that night. Police found other weapons (pictured) in his car.

Sieler was given $500 bail at the Spokane County Jail for misdemeanor charges but rearrested Wednesday evening on a federal warrant.

He appeared in U.S. District Court today on one count of threatening a federal official and was ordered to remain in jail until a bail hearing on Monday.

Pics show cleaver seized outside debate

Police arrested a man around 5 p.m. Thursday outside KSPS studios after he drove by a group of Sen. Patty Murray supporters waving a meat cleaver.

Johnny J. Sieler, 50, first drove by the group with a knife, shouting profanities about Murray, Spokane police said.

He upgraded his weapon to a meat cleaver and drove by a second time, according to police. As he drove by, he slowed his vehicle down and made chopping motions as he held the cleaver out his car windows.

Some of the supporters felt so threatened they backed away from the suspect, police said. Spokane police were on the scene when Sieler drove around the third time.

Officers stopped Sieler, who reached for the knives as they approached him.

He was arrested for intimidation with a weapon and booked into Spokane County Jail. Officers found several knives in his car.

“The police were right on him,” said Dave Hawkins, who was waving signs for Murray.

The studio was preparing to host a debate between Murray and Republican candidate for Senate Dino Rossi. Sieler remains in jail on $500 bond.

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