Former San Antonio-area cop gets 8-month federal sentence over threat to shoot Joe Biden

'Even when made by senators and congressmen who have this inflammatory rhetoric, words have consequences,' the judge told the former Judson ISD police officer.

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click to enlarge President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event. - Instagram / joebiden
Instagram / joebiden
President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event.
A former law enforcement officer from New Braunfels was sentenced Wednesday to eight months in federal prison for sending a text construed as a threat to shoot members of Joe Biden's presidential campaign, the Express-News reports.

William Oliver Towery, 55, a former Judson Independent School District cop, responded on Dec. 11, 2019, to a text message soliciting campaign donations ahead of then-candidate Biden’s planned stop in San Antonio later in the week, according to federal authorities. The text was considered an interstate communication. 

“I’ll be there and have been practicing my sniping skills all month just for this occasion," Towery reportedly responded. "If you will be near him you may want to wear something dark to hide the blood splatter.”

Towery once worked as an investigator for the Texas Attorney General’s Office, then as a uniformed police officer for Judson ISD, according to the Express-News. During earlier court testimony, Towery said he'd been unemployed since 2013, when a disease forced him to leave a teaching job, the daily also reported.

During testimony, Towery said he thought he was responding to a text sent by a friend as a joke, according to the paper.

U.S. District Judge Xavier Rodriguez showed some sentencing leniency to Towery due to his age and medical issues, the Express-News reports. However, the judge said he also wanted to deter others from thinking they could get away with hurling violent rhetoric amid the current charged political climate.

"Even when made by senators and congressmen who have this inflammatory rhetoric, words have consequences," Rodriguez said, according to the daily. "And then words also incite others to behave in a manner that maybe they would not ordinarily behave in. I find it no comfort that this defendant was a former law enforcement officer. We have way too many former law enforcement officers and former members of the military in Jan. 6 … engaging in behavior that they vowed at one time to protect, and then violating their oaths.”

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