Man accused of threatening US House speaker found not guilty

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Boehner Death Threat Suspect Found Not Guilty

A former bartender from Ohio accused of threatening to kill U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner in October 2014 was found not guilty by reason of insanity on Monday by a federal judge.

Michael Hoyt, 44, was indicted in January on the charge of threatening to kill a U.S. official, and he chose to allow his guilt or innocence to be determined by U.S. District Judge Timothy Black in Cincinnati, rather than a jury.

Black, who in April had ruled Hoyt competent to stand trial, scheduled another court appearance for Aug. 21 to determine whether Hoyt should remain hospitalized. The judge has ordered further evaluation of Hoyt between now and the next hearing.

"I believe he made the correct decision," lawyer Martin Pinales, who represents Hoyt, said in a telephone interview.

Prosecutors accused Hoyt of wanting to poison Boehner and threatening to shoot the Republican lawmaker who represents a district north of Cincinnati. He pleaded not guilty and his attorneys pursued an insanity defense.

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Man accused of threatening US House speaker found not guilty
FILE - Michael Hoyt is seen in this undated file photo provided by the Hamilton County, Ohio, Sheriff's Department. Hoyt, charged with threatening to kill House Speaker John Boehner, pleaded not guilty Wednesday, April 29, 2015, in federal court in Cincinatti after being found competent to stand trial. Court documents indicate Hoyt has a history of mental illness, and the judge noted that history was included in the mental evaluation report. (AP Photo/Hamilton County Sheriff's Department, File)
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, accompanied by a U.S. Capitol Police officer, right, walks to the House chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015, as lawmakers gather for a vote to fund the Homeland Security Department but will curb President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration. An Ohio bartender with a history of psychiatric illness was indicted on a charge of threatening to murder 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. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2014, file photo, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Michael R. Hoyt, a resident of Cincinnati and bartender with a history of psychiatric illness, was indicted last week on a charge of threatening to murder Boehner, possibly by poisoning his drink, according to records made available Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 09: U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) answers questions during his weekly press conference at the U.S. Capitol July 9, 2015 in Washington, DC. Boehner addressed multiple topics including a potential nuclear deal with Iran, the recent controversial comments by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, and the issue of the Confederate flag during his remarks. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, left, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014. Boehner said Tuesday that Islamic State militants pose a serious threat that must be dealt with in Iraq, Syria or wherever they exist as he pressed President Barack Obama to spell out the U.S. strategy to destroy the militants. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, left, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014. Boehner said Tuesday that Islamic State militants pose a serious threat that must be dealt with in Iraq, Syria or wherever they exist as he pressed President Barack Obama to spell out the U.S. strategy to destroy the militants. From left are, Boehner, Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of La., and Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kansas. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
As the government shutdown continues into a second week with no end in sight, Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, makes a statement outside his office to respond to President Barack Obama, Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, at the Capitol in Washington. President Barack Obama says he told House Speaker John Boehner he’s willing to negotiate with Republicans on their priorities, but not under the threat of “economic chaos.” (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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According to a joint statement of facts agreed to by prosecutors and Hoyt's attorneys, Hoyt dialed 911 in October 2014, gave his name and address and asked the operator to tell his father he was OK and sorry.

Hoyt told an officer who went to his home he had been fired from a West Chester, Ohio, country club where Boehner is a member, that he was Jesus Christ, and that he was going to kill Boehner because the speaker had been mean to him at the club and was responsible for Ebola.

Hoyt told police he owned a handgun and had money and "he was going to shoot Boehner and take off," the court papers said. Hoyt allowed an officer to retrieve his handgun from his house and volunteered to be taken to a hospital for evaluation.

After police signed him into the hospital for a 72-hour hold, Hoyt became angry a hospital security officer would not write his name as Jesus Christ, the court papers said.

Hoyt told FBI agents while at the hospital that he believed Boehner was the devil. He also told the agents that after he was fired from the club, he began hearing the devil's voice over his car stereo and home radio and the voices were telling him Boehner was evil, according to the court papers.

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