Captured fugitive Shawn Christy makes first court appearance on charges of threatening President Trump

September 24, 2018

Captured fugitive Shawn Christy makes first court appearance on charges of threatening President Trump

AKRON, Ohio — A Pennsylvania man accused of making threats against President Donald Trump made his first appearance in federal court on Monday, more than three months after a federal warrant was issued for his arrest.

State and federal authorities captured Shawn Christy, 27, near Mansfield on Friday afternoon, following a manhunt that began Sept. 16 after officials received information that he may be in Richland County.

During the brief hearing in U.S. District Magistrate Judge Kathleen Burke’s courtroom in Akron, Christy only spoke one-word answers to the judge’s cursory questions. Christy, shackled and clad an orange-and-white-striped jail jumpsuit, requested detention and identity hearings, which are expected to take place on Oct. 1.

Christy walked with a slight limp after the hearing as deputy U.S. marshals led him out of the courtroom. His court-appointed attorney Larry Whitney said after the hearing that Christy understood the proceedings that took place.

A federal judge in Pennsylvania issued a warrant June 19 for Christy, a McAdoo resident, in connection to Facebook threats to the Northampton County district attorney, stating, “Keep it up (John) Morganelli, I promise I’ll put a bullet in your head as soon as I put one in the head of President Donald J. Trump.”

Christy also posted a message on Facebook to Martinelli that said “Your (sic) a dead man ... Lets play,” according to a grand jury indictment. He also has outstanding warrants for burglary, probation violations and not appearing in court for an aggravated assault case.

The now-captured fugitive also said he would “use lethal force on any law enforcement officer that attempts to detain” him as a result of an outstanding arrest warrant, the indictment states.

The Mansfield-area community was on high-alert last week as law enforcement looked for Christy. Some schools closed as a precaution and police encouraging residents to lock their homes, cars and sheds. 

Investigators on Friday found a camp site with items believed to be Christy’s, and a search team created a perimeter and found him in Mifflin Township. He was armed with a loaded gun and a large knife, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

More than 100 state and federal police and agents were involved in the search.

FBI agents are investigating firearms charges against Christy, the Marshals said Monday.

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