Local news

Spokane man pleads guilty to threatening abortion provider

WEDNESDAY, JULY 28, 2010, 3:29 P.M.

A Spokane man pleaded guilty today to threatening to kill the family of a Colorado abortion doctor, three weeks after the killing of a Kansas doctor who provided late-term abortions.

Donald Hertz, 70, pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act and one count of transmitting a threat in interstate commerce. He faces up to six years in federal prison and up to $350,000 fine at his Oct. 27 sentencing, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney.

Hertz admitted that he intentionally intimidated employees of the Boulder Abortion Clinic for the services it provided. According to court records, Hertz contacted the clinic and stated that two of his associates were driving to Boulder to kill members of the doctor’s family.

Hertz made the threat just weeks after the May 2009 killing of Dr. George Tiller, a Wichita, Kansas, physician who was one of a few doctors in the nation who performed late-term abortions.

“The defendant’s conviction should send 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 the release.

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