Paul Vernon Hoeffer, 60, of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, United States pleaded guilty on January 21, 2022 in federal court in Fort Pierce, Florida to making threatening phone calls to Nancy Pelosi, 81, Kim Foxx, 49, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 32. He faces up to 15 years in federal prison.
Foxx has been the district attorney of Cook County, Illinois, USA since December 1, 2016. On January 3, 2019, Pelosi assumed office as the 52nd speaker of the U.S. house of representatives while Ocasio-Cortez became a member of the house from the 14th district of New York, USA.
Pelosi has been a member of the house from the 12th district of California, USA since 2013. On January 3, 2021, she was reelected for a fourth term as speaker of the house.
Hoeffer admitted to calling Pelosi’s office in March 2019 and telling a staffer to tell her to step down or else he would “rattle her head with bullets.” He also threatened to cut her head off.
On the same day Hoeffer called Pelosi’s office, he also called Foxx and told her bullets were going to “rattle her brain.” In November 2020, he called Ocasio-Cortez and threatened that he would “rip her head off” and told her to sleep with one eye open.
At 11:00 a.m. on April 1, 2022, U.S. District Judge Aileen M. Cannon will sentence Hoeffer, who was charged with three counts of interstate transmission of threats to kidnap or injure. Assistant U.S. attorney Luisa Honora Berti is prosecuting the case.
In order to find Hoeffer guilty of interstate transmission of threats to kidnap or injure, the government has to prove four elements beyond a reasonable doubt. Here are the elements asked as questions:
- Did he knowingly transmit a communication?
- Did the communication contain a threat to kidnap or injure Pelosi, Foxx and Ocasio-Cortez?
- Did he transmit the communication for the purpose of making a threat or knowing the communication would be viewed as a threat?
- Was the communication transmitted in interstate commerce? (Was it sent from a place in one state to a place in another state?)