DETROIT (CBS Detroit/ AP) — A Detroit-area woman is facing up to 20 years for allegedly making threats against a Detroit-area republican election official who initially refused to certify local results in favor of Joe Biden.
Katelyn Jones, 23, from Grosse Pointe Woods, is charged with sending text messages of a mutilated body to Monica Palmer, a member of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers.
“You have made a grave mistake. I hope you realize that now,” Katelyn Jones said in a text message to Monica Palmer, a member of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers, according to the FBI.
A criminal complaint against Jones was filed in federal court in Detroit. Jones has ties to Olivet, Michigan, according to her driver’s license, but the FBI said she sent the threats from Epping, New Hampshire, where she was staying with her mother.
Jones admitted making the threats when interviewed by agents because she felt Palmer was “interfering with the election,” the FBI said in a court filing.
Jones was arrested Wednesday in New Hampshire. It wasn’t known if she has a lawyer who can comment on the case.
The threats included photos of a woman’s bloody body and references to Palmer’s daughter, the FBI said.
“I’d be a shame if something happened to your daughter at school,” Jones said, according to investigators.
Palmer chaired a raucous meeting of the Board of Canvassers on Nov. 17. She and a fellow Republican on the four-member board initially refused to certify Wayne County’s election results, typically a routine step on the way to statewide certification. They cited problems with absentee ballots in Detroit.
When the meeting turned to public comment, Palmer and William Hartmann were criticized for hours by people-watching on video conference. They subsequently changed their votes and certified the election totals, saying they were assured by the board’s two Democrats that a post-election audit would be performed.
Jones made her threats by text message and on Instagram a day after the meeting, the FBI said.
“The allegations, in this case, should make all of us disgusted,” U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said. “There is simply no place in Michigan, or in the United States, for chilling threats like this to people who are simply doing what they believe is correct.”
Palmer and Hartmann said they voted to certify the results after “hours of sustained pressure” and after getting promises that their concerns about the election would be investigated. They said President Donald Trump reached out to them in support of the November meeting.
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