No Prison for Obama Threat

Before sentencing, Walter Bagdasarian apologized to his family and asked for mercy.

By R. Stickney and Paul Krueger
|  Monday, Oct 26, 2009  |  Updated 6:48 PM PDT
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Walter Edward Bagdasarian

Bagdasarian was accused of knowingly and willfully threatening to kill and inflict bodily injury upon Barack Obama, a major candidate for the office of president of the United States of America,” according to court documents.

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No Prison for Obama Threat

In an exclusive interview, Walter Bagdasarian of La Mesa explained what was going through his mind when he threatened then-presidential candidate Barack Obama.
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A La Mesa man will spend two months in a half-way house, not federal prison or jail, for a threat against then-presidential candidate Barack Obama posted online.

Walter Edward Bagdasarian was sentenced Monday to 60 days in a residential corrections home. He will then have two years of supervised release with a probation officer, and he cannot be within 1,000 yards of the President.

Bagdasarian must also pay a $500 fine, but does not have to pay it until his case is reviewed by an appeals court.

Before he was sentenced, Bagdasarian made a statement to the court.

He was tearful and sobbing as he told the judge he is "deeply remorseful" for making those threats. He then turned to his wife in the gallery and said through tears and sobs, "I apologize to my lovely wife for all the pain I've caused her."

Bagdasarian told the court "our family has gone through 11 months of living hell" and he asked for "mercy and leniency for our family to rebuild our shattered lives."

Judge Marilyn Huff told him "a threat to kill goes over the line". She hopes he has learned a "very painful lesson."

On Oct. 22, 2008, according to a probable-cause affidavit, messages filled with racial slurs about Obama were posted on the Yahoo Finance Web site from a computer investigators said they traced to Bagdasarian's wife, Regina.

Court documents allege the messages were posted by somebody identified as “californiaradial,” a user name that agents said Walter Bagdasarian admitted to using when they interviewed him last November.

Investigators also said Walter Bagdasarian admitting posting the messages, which court documents quote as saying (profanity has been edited):

"Shoot the n--. Country f----- for another 4+ years, what n-- has done ANYTHING right???? Long Term???? Never in history, except s-mbos." As well as, "F--- the n-----, he will have a 50 cal in the head soon."

Secret Service agents said that when they raided Bagdasarian's La Mesa home three days after they questioned him in November, they found six firearms and a total of 500 rounds of ammunition in each caliber.

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