AP NEWS

Man sentenced for threats made against secretary of state

February 26, 2020 GMT

CLARKSTON, Mich. (AP) —

A 72-year-old suburban Detroit man man who police say threatened Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson was sentenced Tuesday to jail time served and probation.

Neil Billington of Groveland Township pleaded no contest to a charge of malicious use of a telecommunications service, The Daily Tribune reported. He was sentenced to three days and 12 months on probation, and ordered to pay $980 in fines and court costs.

Michigan State Police have said an investigation found threats were left on Benson’s voicemail and in-person at her office. Billington was arrested Jan. 30 after a search warrant executed at his home turned up weapons and other evidence.

Benson’s office declined comment on the plea and sentencing.

Billington lost races for the Michigan House of Representatives in 2014, 2012 and 2010. He ran as a Republican in 2010 and as a Democrat in the latter two elections. Benson is a Democrat.