LOS ANGELES (CN) – A Southern California man who phoned in a threat to kill U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters over her criticism of President Donald Trump was sentenced to probation and house arrest in a Los Angeles federal court on Monday.
Anthony Scott Lloyd of San Pedro said in court that he was sorry and takes “full responsibility” for his actions.
“What I did had no place in society,” he said.
Lloyd had previously pleaded guilty for calling the Washington D.C offices of the California Democrat on Oct. 22, 2017, and threatening to kill her over comments she made criticizing Trump.
“What you said at your little faggot conference, if you continue to make threats toward the president, you’re going to wind up dead, Maxine, ’cause we’ll kill you,” Lloyd said in a voicemail, according to the complaint. “You can call the FBI, you can call the NSA, you can call whoever the fuck you want and report this and try to get a surge or some kind of fucking phone number. Bitch, you do it again, you’re dead. You’re a fucking dead ass nigger.”
Waters has been a fierce critic of Trump’s policies and has said the president regularly incites violence. Trump in turn has attacked Waters by saying she has a “low I.Q.”
A Waters staff member contacted the U.S. Capitol Police, which notified the FBI.
In an interview with FBI agent Christopher L. Kontsis, Lloyd admitted to creating the voicemail but said he never intended to harm Waters.
“I’m not crazy, I’m not under any medication, I’m not a pre-meditator, I’m not a planner,” Lloyd told agent Kontsis. “I’m not a terrorist guy, I’m very patriotic and I love my country.”
Lloyd said in his interview that he is a “pro-president supporter” who wanted to “make a statement” because his “voice matters,” according to court papers.
Lloyd’s attorney Jerod Gunsberg said in court on Monday that the call was an isolated incident and that Lloyd had become enraged while listening to “highly charged political commentary” on a talk radio show where “commentators stripped [Waters’] comments of all context.”
Gunsberg said Lloyd had also been dealing with addiction and depression when he made the threatening call.
Lloyd was charged with a single count of threatening a United States official, which carries a maximum 10-year prison sentence.
U.S District Judge Stephen V. Wilson handed Lloyd a less severe sentence of six months of house arrest and three years of probation. He was also ordered to pay a $100 fee.
“I think [Lloyd] is genuinely remorseful and that this is the appropriate sentence,” Wilson said.
Waters’ office did not respond to a request for comment by press time.
In a letter filed with the court on July 2, Waters asked Wilson to hold Lloyd accountable “in a manner extending beyond probation.”
She said the remorse that Lloyd expressed “upon being caught” should not distract from the “very real contempt” he has toward her, black women and the LGBTQ community.
Waters said in the letter that Lloyd might “become revered among some segments of our society” for threatening her without any “real consequences for his actions.”
After sentencing, Gunsberg shared a statement with Courthouse News regarding Lloyd’s remorse.
“Mr. Lloyd is grateful to the court for granting a probationary sentence,” Gunsberg said in the statement. “His remorse and apology to Ms. Waters and the community is sincere. He appreciates the opportunity he’s been given to continue his recovery.”
Gunsberg said Lloyd works at a Los Angeles port, is taking part in counseling and is “not a danger to his community.”
Wilson told Lloyd he is forbidden from contacting Waters and her staff. He must submit to regular drug testing – including giving DNA samples – and continue his substance abuse recovery and mental health programs.
His property will also be subject to regular inspection and he must complete 400 hours of community service.
Assistant United States Attorney Jake Nare appeared on behalf of the government.