Santa Clara Man Charged With Threat to State Sen. Leland Yee | NBC 7 San Diego

Santa Clara Man Charged With Threat to State Sen. Leland Yee



    (Published Friday, Feb. 15, 2013)

    A Santa Clara engineer, who once worked for Apple's co-founder, was charged on Friday with threats connected to State Sen. Leland Yee, who was sent an email a month ago by a man who claimed he was a "trained sniper."

    Court documents show that Everett Basham, 45, - a onetime employee of Steve Wozniak a decade ago - faces 12 charges. The charging document for the first time revealed how many and what kind of guns were allegedly found at Basham's home.

    The full list of charges include: threats to commit a crime resulting in death or great bodily injury, possessing a destructive device, possessing materials to make a destructive device,  forging a drivers license, carrying a concealed weapon, carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle and possessing assault weapons. The types of weapons listed: a Barret .416 rifle, a Franchi SPAS 12, which is an Italian combat shotgun, and a 9 mm SigSauer pistol.

    The 12-count complaint states that Basham made the threat while he was armed with the Barrett.

    Basham is also accused of having a "modified bird bomb" that was greater than .60-caliber, which is a felony, prosecutors said. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives describes bird bombs as explosive pest control devices.

    The charging documents do not specify mention that Yee was a victim of the threat.

    Basham, who appeared in shackles, was told to return to court on Feb. 21 to enter a plea. He is being held without bail.

    Basham was arrested Tuesday night by the California Highway Patrol, who knew of a very detailed threat made against Yee - a Democratic senator from San Francisco about four weeks ago.

    Explosives were detonated on two separate days this week at Basham's home on Humbolt Avenue.

    Basham has no other known criminal record in Santa Clara County.

    At a news conference Thursday, Yee was very upfront about the threats:

    "The author of the email specifically stated that if I did not cease our legislative efforts to stop gun violence that he would assassinate me in or around the Capitol, Yee said. "He stated that he was a trained sniper and his email detailed certain weapons he possessed."

    The threat was unlike any Yee had ever received before:  "It was not a racist rant on my ethnicity or culture, but instead it was very deliberate and specific. As a psychologist, I was deeply concerned by the calculating nature of this email."

    Yee said that he was worried about this particular threat because it was very detailed and laid out an exact plan for harm. He forwarded the email to the CHP and the Senate Sergeant of Arms.

    Yee's SB47 would prohibit the use of so-called bullet buttons and other devices that allow for swift reloading of military-style assault weapons.

    Yee was threatened in 2011, when he received a fax from an apparent Rush Limbaugh fan. The fax called him a Marxist and made some racist remarks about his Chinese heritage.

    Basham's LinkedIn profile shows that he has owned his own company, Labrent, since 1997; and that he had worked as a senior product engineer at Logitech and and engineer/scientist at Hewlett-Packard. NBC Bay Area was not able to confirm those places of employment.

    But Basham's employment as vice president of about ten years ago for five months was confirmed by Wozniak himself.

    In an email to NBC Bay Area on Wednesday, Wozniak said he really liked Basham.

    "Everett is a brilliant engineer who has contributed insightful and creative ideas to me," Wozniak wrote. "Everett left ... primarily due to his disagreeing with the structure of the company under venture capital. I admire Everett's thinking very highly. I would classify Everett as distrustful of the government, as many of us are. He was a champion for the common person. Everett never spoke as a person who could or would commit a crime. I was honored to be at his wedding."

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     NBC Bay Area's Marianne Favro contributed to this report.