A 60-year-old fan of Lance Armstrong from Utah issued a guilty plea to "interstate communications involving a threat" in a US District Court in Denver yesterday. Robert Hutchins of Sandy, Utah will likely not face jail time over e-mail threats made to USADA CEO Travis Tygart in reaction to the lifetime ban imposed upon Armstrong by the agency.
Hutchins was one of many fans who wrote Tygart, but only one of two who ended up facing federal charges for crossing the line of making threats. In a similar but unrelated case, Gerrit Keats, a doctor from Clearwater, Florida, pled guilty to similar charges last month and will be sentenced in January.
Hutchins' e-mail was sent with the subject “Travis Tygert [sic] Hope you have body guards and bullet proof vest”, and read: "Travis Tygert [sic], Hope you have body guards and bullet proof vest, your [sic] a dead man mother f@%&*#. You just don’t know what you’ve done!!!
"You’re a** is f@%&*#."
The FBI traced the e-mail to Hutchins, while Tygart took the precaution of hiring private security and moving his family to a safe location.
Hutchins could have faced five years in a federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine, but agreed to probation with his guilty plea. He will be sentenced February 10, 2014.
USADA Media Relations Manager Annie Skinner said, "We appreciate the hard work of the FBI and the US Attorney’s office in enforcing the laws of this country and protecting the safety and security of our staff and their families.”
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