DETROIT (AP) — A man charged with threatening the lives of Jewish Michigan public officials on Twitter was returned to jail Friday after declining to oppose the government’s request that he remain in custody while his case winds through court.
The hearing for Jack Carpenter III lasted just minutes in federal court in Detroit. He agreed to detention but, through his attorney, also submitted a document challenging jurisdiction over him.
Defense lawyer Jean Pierre Nogues declined to comment outside court. The next hearing was set for March 15.
The FBI said Carpenter of Tipton, Michigan, was in Texas when he tweeted on Feb. 17 that he was returning “to carry out the punishment of death to anyone” who is Jewish in Michigan government “if they don’t leave, or confess, and now that kind of problem.”
Carpenter, 41, also declared a new country — “New Israel” — around his home, according to the criminal complaint.
Investigators said he had firearms and ammunition in his vehicle.
The FBI hasn’t publicly identified the state officials, but Attorney General Dana Nessel said Carpenter wanted to kill her. She described him as a “mentally disturbed man.”
A Michigan lawmaker who is Jewish said she and two others who are Jewish were informed by the FBI about Carpenter’s arrest.
“You’re getting threats constantly. … It didn’t really affect me probably like it should because I’ve been dealing with extremism and antisemitism since October, November,” said Rep. Samantha Steckloff, a Democrat from suburban Detroit.
She said threats took off last year when Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West, made antisemitic comments in interviews and on social media. Ye has expressed some regret.
Democratic Rep. Noah Arbit said he won’t be bullied from serving his district. Democratic Sen. Jeremy Moss was also contacted by the FBI.
“The Jews in the House will never back down,” Arbit said on Twitter.
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