A grand jury has indicted an Ohio bartender for threatening to kill House Speaker John Boehner.
Michael Robert Hoyt, 44, allegedly threatened to kill Boehner, who he believes is responsible for Ebola, according to a criminal complaint. Boehner is a member of the country club where Hoyt formerly worked.
"Speaker Boehner is aware of this situation, and sincerely thanks the FBI, the Capitol Police, and local authorities in Ohio for their efforts," said Boehner spokesman Michael Steel.
Hoyt's lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the grand jury's decision, which was made Jan. 7.
According to a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for Southern Ohio, Ohio's Deer Park Police Chief contacted the FBI and U.S. Capitol Police about a 911 call Hoyt made in October and alleged threats made later when an officer showed up at the bartender's home address.
"Hoyt advised that he had been fired from his job at Wetherington Country Club in West Chester, Ohio, and did not have time to put something in John Boehner's drink," the complaint alleges. "Hoyt told the officer that he was Jesus Christ and that he was going to kill Boehner because Boehner was mean to him at the country club and because Boehner is responsible for Ebola."
Hoyt told the officer he had a Beretta .380 Automatic handgun that he was going to use to shoot Boehner, the complaint alleges. Hoyt volunteered to be taken in for a psychiatric evaluation. Investigators later found an SKS assault rifle magazine in his home. His mother said she had taken the gun itself to her home, where authorities located the weapon.
Hoyt had been treated for a psychotic episode about two years ago, the complaint reads, when he was “under significant distress.” He also told later investigators that despite the presence of the handgun in his home, he had no intention of hurting anyone, including himself.
Boehner's wife provided agents with copies of emails Hoyt had sent to her alluding to his firing from the country club. "If I had any intention of hurting Mr. Boehner I could have poisoned his wine at Wetherington, many many times," one email read, the complaint alleges.
Boehner told special agents in October that he knew Hoyt as a bartender but he didn’t remember any negative encounter with the man, the complaint reads.
Capitol Police and the FBI both believed that Hoyt poses a credible and ongoing threat to Boehner, the complaint reads.
Boehner has received other death threats this year; in May, an Indiana man was arrested after allegedly making death threats against Boehner over unemployment insurance. That same month, a man in Arizona was charged with making similar threats via Twitter.