A Florida man has pleaded guilty to issuing death threats against Eric Nelson, the defense attorney for Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of the murder of African-American George Floyd, prosecutors reported.
William John Hartnett, 42, admitted to District Judge Donald L. Graham that on April 6 he made a threatening call to the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association (MPPOA) in St. Paul, an organization that funded Chauvin’s defense.
Hartnett, a resident of Coral Gables, a city near Miami, left an 18-second message on the MPPOA voicemail threatening to kill Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s defense attorney.
"Now, all of you are going to die a worse death than Floyd, you son of a bitch. All of you piece of shit"he said in reference to Nelson and his family.
Judge Graham set the sentencing hearing for December 15.
The charge Hartnett is charged with carries a legal sentence of up to five years in prison, if found guilty.
Floyd died on May 25, 2020 after holding Chauvin’s knee across his neck for more than nine minutes, and his death sparked a wave of protests and race riots in the United States the likes of which had not been seen since the assassination of Martin Luther. King in the late 1960s.
On June 25, Chauvin was sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison, of which he will serve 15, for the murder of Floyd.