AP NEWS

The Latest: Man pleads guilty to retaliating against senator

March 26, 2019

PHOENIX (AP) — The Latest on a Chicago man accused of threatening a U.S. senator (all times local):

11:45 a.m.

A Chicago man has pleaded guilty to a retaliation charge for leaving a threatening voice mail for a U.S. senator from Arizona during Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings.

The plea deal made Tuesday in Phoenix calls for James Dean Blevins Jr. to serve a sentence of probation for his acknowledged threat to an official identified only as “United States Senator J.F.”

Authorities have declined to provide the victim’s name, but then-Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona was the only senator with those initials.

In his plea deal, Blevins acknowledged that he left the threatening voice mail on Sept. 17 and said he was tired of the senator interrupting the president and that he was going to take out the senator and his family.

10:07 p.m.

A man accused of threatening to kidnap and kill a United States senator and his family is scheduled to change his plea Tuesday in federal court in Phoenix.

James Dean Blevins had previously pleaded not guilty to charges of retaliation by threats against an official identified only as “United States Senator J.F.” and making interstate communications that contained threats.

Authorities have declined to provide the victim’s full name, but then-Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona was the only senator with those initials.

Flake had said in late September that his family received death threats after he asked a Senate committee to hear testimony from a woman who accused then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault.

Flake ultimately voted for Kavanaugh’s nomination.