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US bartender accused of threatening to kill John Boehner

January 14, 2015

CINCINNATI (AP) — A bartender with a history of psychiatric illness was indicted on a charge of threatening to murder House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, possibly by poisoning his drink at a country club or shooting him, according to court documents.

A grand jury indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Ohio on Jan. 7 identified the accused man as Cincinnati resident Michael R. Hoyt, said the records made available Tuesday. As speaker of the House, Boehner is second in line for the presidency in the event of a vacancy.

A separate criminal complaint said Hoyt was fired last fall from his job at a country club in Ohio, where he served drinks to Boehner, who is a member. The complaint says Hoyt told a police officer that before leaving the country club, he “did not have time to put something in John Boehner’s drink.” Hoyt also told officers that no one checks the drinks he had poured for Boehner, and it would have been easy to slip something in his drink, the complaint said.

Hoyt is being held under a court order for mental evaluation and treatment, and U.S. Capitol Police and the FBI believe he “poses a current and ongoing credible threat” to Boehner, the complaint added.

No one answered the door Tuesday evening at the address listed for Hoyt on court documents, and the house was dark. Two neighbors couldn’t confirm that Hoyt lived in the house.

The court documents said, “Hoyt told the officer he was Jesus Christ and that he was going to kill Boehner because Boehner was mean to him at the country club and because Boehner is responsible for Ebola.”

According to the criminal complaint, Hoyt said he had a loaded Beretta .380 automatic pistol and he was going to shoot Boehner. Hoyt had volunteered to be taken to a psychiatric hospital, and police took his weapon.

The complaint says Hoyt was treated for a previous psychotic episode about two years ago. He was prescribed medication “which he voluntarily stopped taking” about six months ago, it added.

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Espo reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Jennifer Smola in Columbus, Ohio contributed to this report.

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