Original article no longer available
Published Tuesday February 24, 2009
BY KARYN SPENCER, WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER
An Omaha man accused of threatening to shoot the president will have the charge dropped if he follows psychiatric treatment.
Johnnie Galarza, 55, was charged with making a threat against the president-elect shortly after the election. The dismissal agreement was announced Monday in U.S. District Court in Omaha.
According to the federal case:
Galarza said he had been thinking about shooting Barack Obama and could do it with a sniper shot from 256 yards. He made the comment during a therapy session Nov. 10, and his Department of Veterans Affairs counselor reported it to authorities.
Galarza later told a Secret Service agent investigating the case that he has depression and post-traumatic stress disorder from Army combat. He said he had been trained as a sniper.
He said he voluntarily commits himself when he feels the urge to assault people or “go back to his military ways.”
Galarza said Obama cannot be recognized as president because native Americans had not given Africans permission to come to America. He also claimed to have a collection of weapons in Arizona in anticipation of a native American/white war.
Galarza told the agent that “the right person with the right rifle” could assassinate Obama. He said he wouldn’t because it’s against the law, but he would applaud if someone else did.
His therapist told the agent that she considered the man harmless.
Galarza must take medication, attend counseling and admit himself for inpatient psychiatric care as requested for 1½ years to get the charge dismissed.
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Note: John Galarza died 9 years later on Aug 23, 2018