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March 22, 2008

Construction Worker Jailed For E-Mail Threatening Gov. Over Illegal Immigration

Posted in: Protests & Activism

WJZ

PARKVILLE, Md. - A construction worker from Parkville is charged with threatening to strangle Governor Martin O’Malley.

In a WJZ Exclusive, Kathryn Brown reports, the man is being confined to house arrest.

Walter Abbott says he’s been losing work to illegal immigrants for years, and he says he only sent the threatening email to O’Malley to get him to pay attention, not because he actually intended to kill him.

The email is pretty clear. Charging documents show Walter stated he was “going to kill the governor by strangulation” because he was “upset with” the governor’s “views on immigration”.

“He would absolutely not hurt nobody, please! He was just lashing out,’ said Walter’s wife Linda Abbott.

Linda paints her husband of 24 years as a dedicated construction worker struggling to provide for his family.

“He’s a hardworking man. He just wants to support his family, that’s all this is about. He just wants to work,” said Linda.

Walter sent the email to the governor’s official website on Tuesday.

In it he expressed anger over O’Malley’s immigration policies and threatened to strangle the governor.

He also included his name, address, and phone number.

Police arrested him at his Parkville home less than five hours later.

“There’s lots of Marylanders that are having the same problem, and he just happened to hit submit,” said Linda.

In Walter’s community, he’s well-known among neighbors for a large sign that’s been in his front yard for nearly a year. It’s facing backwards now, but people are familiar with the message.

“Something about deport the aliens, impeach Bush,” said neighbor Charlie Vogel.

“It’s about illegal immigrants, and they should put Bush out of office,” said neighbor Carol Eichelberger.

Neighbors like Eichelberger aren’t neccessarily surprised to hear that Walter may have taken his views a step farther.

“Considering him putting the nerve to put the sign up, I wouldn’t put it past him. I think he’s a little goofy,” said Eichelberger.

“I mean I don’t happen to be an O’Malley fan, but I don’t think you should threaten to kill the president, the governor or anybody else,” said Vogel.

Abbott is confined to his home in Baltimore County until his trial date.

State police say they view this and any threat against the governor as substantial and take them all very seriously.


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