Man Sentenced to Jail for Threatening Rep. Waters

( – A jury recently convicted a man from Texas for leaving threatening and discriminative voice messages for Representative Maxine Waters (D-California), and a federal court has now sentenced the man to three years in jail. Federal judge R. Gary Klausner instituted the jail sentence against 61-year-old Michael Gaherty after he determined that Gaherty left hateful and threatening messages for Waters due to her race. Klausner also instituted a fine against Gaherty totaling $10,000.

Gaherty left messages for Waters back in 2022, which included threats to murder the representative and to use force to harm her. Gaherty also used racial slurs when talking to Waters, along with other obscenities. In the messages, Gaherty said that he wasn’t acting alone and that he would attack Waters with a group of other disenfranchised Americans who disagreed with her outspoken beliefs regarding modern-day racism. Although Gaherty left most of the messages for Waters, he also contacted members of the representative’s staff and threatened them similarly.

Shortly after Waters’s staff reported Gaherty to the federal authorities, Capitol authorities contacted the 61-year-old Texas resident and ordered him to cease his threats. Gaherty refused and immediately began contacting Waters’s office to make more threats. In his messages, Gaherty threatened to shoot Waters in the head and stomp on her head. Gaherty’s messages also included a veiled threat about Waters having a bounty on her head, indicating that other people would try and kill the representative for a monetary reward.

Eventually, Capitol authorities arrested Gaherty for the threatening messages. Police found Gaherty reasonably quickly, as the Texas resident didn’t attempt to hide his phone number, allowing investigators to find his service provider and track him down using geolocation data. Gaherty initially protested his innocence, but after investigators began showcasing the evidence against him, he confessed to making the threatening calls and entered a guilty plea. Gaherty’s lawyer, Joe Vinas, has defended the 61-year-old’s actions and cited Gaherty’s mental health issues as an explanation. Vinas also said that Gaherty is incredibly remorseful for his actions and that the Texas resident didn’t remember threatening Waters or members of her staff.

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