AG Nessel Charges Man with Terrorism for Death Threats Made Against Biden, Pelosi and Whitmer

Contact: Kelly Rossman-McKinney 517-512-9342
Agency: Attorney General

March 16, 2021

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has charged a Holland man with crimes for making death threats against President Joe Biden, U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. 

Joshua Docter, 21, of Holland, Michigan, is charged with one count of threat of terrorism and one count of using a computer to commit a crime, both 20-year felonies. 

Charges were filed Monday in Ottawa County 58th District Court. Docter turned himself in today and was arraigned on the charges before Judge Bradley Knoll.  

The case was initiated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which followed up on tips it received about threatening posts Docter allegedly made on the social media platform, iFunny. Michigan State Police continued the investigation and referred the case to the Michigan Department of Attorney General for prosecution. 

“Threatening elected officials is against the law and my office will prosecute those who attempt to intimidate or terrorize our state and federal leaders,” Nessel said. “I appreciate the thorough investigative work by the FBI and Michigan State Police on this case, and I consider it another excellent example of showcasing the dedication that those working in law enforcement have to protecting the public.” 

Docter posted multiple threatening comments on the social media platform in January 2021. In those posts, Docter stated he would use a gun to shoot and kill the elected officials and would “be the catalyst” for a new American revolution. Docter also had information on how to make a bomb and where to find the necessary materials on his smart phone. 

Docter is scheduled to appear for a probable cause conference on April 8 and a preliminary exam on April 15. 

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Please note:  A criminal charge is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The Attorney General’s office does not provide photos of defendants.