Man who threatened Iowa governor ordered to have no contact

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A man who pleaded guilty to leaving a menacing voicemail for Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds was ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation and have no contact with the governor for five years.

Harvey Hunter Jr., of Stuart, Iowa, also was fined and granted a one-year term of probation during a sentencing hearing Monday in Des Moines. District Associate Judge Brendan Greiner agreed to suspend a 365-day jail sentence.

Hunter, 48, pleaded guilty last month to a misdemeanor charge of second-degree harassment, under a plea agreement with Polk County prosecutors.

He admitted to leaving a threatening voicemail Jan. 5 on a governor’s office phone line for input on the state’s partial mask mandate, saying that Reynolds and other politicians should be “hung for treason for pushing this COVID scam.” He called Reynolds derogatory names for women and said “you need to be put in front of a firing squad.”

The Iowa Department of Public Safety said in April that the case was among the “widespread and alarming” threats that the Republican governor has recently faced, announcing a $400,000 project to erect a security fence around the governor’s residence, Terrace Hill.

Hunter had defended his comments as free speech, saying he was expressing opposition to what he considered the government’s “tyrannical” COVID-19 restrictions.

Under the no-contact order, Hunter shall not attempt to communicate with Reynolds in person, in writing, by phone or any other method through June 2026. He’s also barred from visiting Terrace Hill.

Hunter is required to schedule the psychological evaluation this week and comply with any recommended treatment.

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