A federal judge ordered a Seattle man to work with AIDS patients and the poor for his role in threatening a former congressman.
Jasper Kilmar Hillman Bell, 28, of Seattle was arrested on April 22, 2016 for making multiple harassing phone calls to the office of U.S. Congressman Jim McDermott. In one of the phone calls, investigators testfied, Bell threatened to cut out the congressman’s tongue.
According to court documents, Bell was outraged over the congressman’s status of as a ‘Super Delegate’ in the Democratic party’s Presidential primary nominating process. On the day of his arrest, Bell called McDermott’s Seattle office 17 times and his Washington, D.C. office six times in a span of 50 minutes.
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Investigators said Bell told staffers he would find McDermott’s address and “track him down and cut his (expletive) tongue out.”
“Just so wrong on so many levels…This was somebody who knew better. The reaction (of law enforcement) was proportionate to the threat,” said U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnick.
Lasnick sentenced Bell to two months in prison and three years of supervised release, including six months of home confinement. Lasnick also ordered Bell to do 240 hours of community service working with AIDS patients and the poor — segments of society McDermott often worked to assist during his career.
In 1990 -- his first term in the House -- McDermott sponsored the AIDS Housing Opportunity Act which later became HOPWA, a federal program to meet housing needs of persons and families suffering from AIDS.