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Man charged with threatening Bush

January 30, 2004|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - A Hagerstown man faces life in prison if convicted on federal charges that he wrote letters threatening to kill President Bush, send a biological agent to an attorney and blow up a courthouse.

An assistant U.S. attorney alleged the man also sent a white-colored drink mix, intended to resemble anthrax, to the attorney while in custody following a previous federal conviction.

Last week, a federal grand jury handed up a four-count indictment against Jack Thomas Guyer, 25, formerly of the 400 block of Antietam Drive, in connection with incidents that occurred Sept. 23, 2002. The two-page indictment, filed on Jan. 21 in U.S. District Court in Charlottesville, Va., states Guyer threatened to kill President Bush and the commonwealth attorney for Orange County, Va., use anthrax against the attorney and damage or destroy the Louisa County Courthouse "by means of fire and explosives."

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Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Jake Jacobsen said the maximum sentence on any of the four counts is life in prison.

Jacobsen declined to release detailed information on the letter involving Bush.

"I don't want to get into the specifics, but there was a threat to kill the president," Jacobsen said. "The threat to the president wasn't the only one."

Jacobsen said Guyer is accused of threatening to kill then-Commonwealth Attorney Tim Sanner, who is now a judge, and sent him orange Kool-Aid mix in a letter.

Jacobsen, who will prosecute the case, said Guyer made the threats in letters he sent while being held at the Central Virginia Regional Jail in Orange County. Guyer was awaiting sentencing on a federal conviction out of Maryland, he said.

Jacobsen said Guyer was in federal custody based on the conviction, but he did not know at what facility he was being held. A spokeswoman at the U.S. Attorney's Office in Baltimore was also unable to provide Guyer's location.

A news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Baltimore said Guyer was indicted in February 2002 for mailing threatening letters between Dec. 31, 2001, and Jan 3, 2002, to two law enforcement officers - Chris Weaver and Steve Hoover - who had investigated him. The release said Guyer, who was being held at the Western Correctional Institution in Cumberland, Md., at the time of the incidents, sent death-threat letters that claimed to have infected Weaver and Hoover with anthrax.

Weaver's wife's life also was threatened in one of the letters, according to the news release.

Guyer also was charged in connection with incidents in the Tri-State area in 1998 and 1997. Guyer was charged with armed robbery, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, misdemeanor theft and first- and second-degree assault in connection with the March 1998 gunpoint robbery of a Martinsburg, W.Va., Applebee's Neighborhood Grill and Bar, court records state. The disposition of the case was not available Thursday night.

During a bond review for the robbery charges, Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Mark Wolfe said Guyer was convicted in 1997 on disorderly conduct and telephone misuse charges.

Jacobsen said court proceedings in Guyer's case probably will begin within 90 days of the first appearance in U.S. District Court in Charlottesville. He said the date for Guyer's first appearance will not be set until his extradition to Virginia.

"As fast as we can do it, we'll do it," Jacobsen said.

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