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Man who threatened Congress by phone sentenced to 33 months

December 1, 2021 GMT

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire man who pleaded guilty to making threatening phone calls to members of Congress if they didn’t support former President Donald Trump has been sentenced to over two years in prison.

Ryder Winegar, 34, of Amherst, was accused of leaving phone messages on Dec. 16, 2020, threatening to hang lawmakers if they didn’t “get behind Donald Trump.” In some messages, he identified himself by name or left his telephone number, officials said.

He pleaded guilty in August to six counts of threatening members of Congress and one count of transmitting threatening communications across state lines, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

After his arrest in January, investigators learned that he also sent a death threat via email to a state lawmaker.

He has been in custody since his arrest. In addition to his 33-month sentence, Winegar was ordered to pay a $15,000 fine.

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His lawyer had asked for supervised release or home confinement.

“He does not and will not seek to excuse his actions, but he would like the Court to know that he is humiliated not just by his actions but as well by the thought patterns that caused him to engage in this conduct,” his lawyer Charles Keefe, said in a court document.

Prosecutors objected, noting that Winegar fled to Brazil the day after police first tried to question him last December.