Man pleads guilty to threatening to kill Obama; previously convicted of threatening to kill Bush — (Ledger-Enquirer)

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Ledger Inquirer


August 21, 2013

The north Georgia man pleaded guilty Wednesday morning in U.S. District Court to threatening to kill President Barack Obama in a 2011 letter. Britt, 31, with a lengthy history of mental illness, sent the letter while he was in Jack T. Rutledge state prison in Columbus. He was serving a 5-year sentence for a Cobb County burglary and is scheduled for release on that charge in May 2014.

In 2002, Britt was sentenced to 41 months in federal prison for threatening to kill then-President George W. Bush. That letter, too, was sent to the White House while Britt was incarcerated. He has a string of burglary and theft convictions in Cobb County dating back to 2000.

In front of Judge Clay Land, Britt, who told the court he was currently taking a cocktail of antidepressant medications, admitted to threatening to kill President Obama in the April 23, 2011 letter. Assistant U.S. Attorney Crawford Seals outlined the contents of the letter for the court in the 25-minute hearing.

“I am going to kill you Obama,” Seals said the letter stated. “My life means nothing and these voices that drive me are uncontrollable. I need to kill. I want someone to kill. That that someone is you. … Be there soon.”

After the letter to Obama, Britt was examined at a state facility, Seals said. Britt said at the time he sent the letters because the presidents “do not do right. They say one thing and do another,” Seals told the court.

Britt, who has an 11th grade education, was asked during that medical evaluation, how he planned to kill the president. “He said he had not thought about that,” Seals said.

Britt’s court-appointed attorney, Bill Mason, said his client’s mental issues are well documented.

“These are the rantings of a frustrated, mentally ill inmate,” Mason said after the hearing. “He has a long documented psychiatric history. And it is a matter of public record. He did not have the ability to carry out any of the threats.”

In the 2001 letter to Bush, Britt threatened to kill Bush and perform a sex act on his father, President George H.W. Bush.

In addition to the letters to the presidents, Britt has also written threatening letters to presidents’ wives and federal judges.

“He writes a lot of letters,” Mason said.

Land, who was careful to make certain that Britt understood every step on the guilty-plea process, ordered a pre-sentencing evaluation and set the sentencing hearing for 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 30, 2014.