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Man Who Made Call Threatening Gov. Whitmer, Secretary of State Benson and Others Pleads No Contest

LANSING – Yesterday, in the 36th District Court in Detroit, James Toepler, 60, of Detroit, pled no contest to one count of Malicious Use of Telecommunications Services for a call he made to the Detroit Police Department 9-1-1 Call Center wherein he threatened to kill multiple elected officials, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced. 

Toepler placed the call on June 23, 2021. During the call, he threatened to kill Governor Whitmer, Secretary of State Benson, and others, who were not specified in the call.  

The Honorable Judge E. Lynise Bryant, who presided over the Pre-trial Hearing, agreed to sentence Toepler to a specialized mental health treatment court. 

“This is not protected speech, but an attempt to terrorize and intimidate,” Nessel said. “Elected officials should not face death threats for merely doing their jobs. The Hate Crimes and Domestic Terrorism Unit of my office will continue to prosecute threats against public officials whenever they occur.” 


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