September 21, 2016 at 4:34 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Gay man indicted for threatening U.S. senators
Kyler Schmitz, Capitol Police, gay news, Washington Blade

Kyler George Schmitz is accused of threatening two U.S. senators.

A federal grand jury in Alexandria, Va., on Sept. 7 handed down an indictment of five counts of making interstate threatening communications against a gay man who was arrested June 24 by U.S. Capitol Police for allegedly threatening to shoot at least two U.S. senators.

The indictment, which was expected, came after a U.S. District Court judge on June 28, agreed to release Kyler George Schmitz, 28, following his arrest into home detention in the custody of his aunt while he awaits trial.

An affidavit in support of Schmitz’s arrest prepared by Capitol Police says police investigators traced a series of Twitter messages to Schmitz that were sent under the user name @Chirperson in late June. One of the messages allegedly sent to a senator said, “I’m going to shoot you in the head for allowing someone to murder my loved ones,” the affidavit says.

The affidavit notes that Schmitz sent his Twitter message to the senator two days after the shooting rampage at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., in which 49 people lost their lives and 53 others were wounded. Most of the victims were members of the LGBT community.

In a message to another senator using the same user name Schmitz allegedly stated, “I am literally going to buy a gun shoot you in the face I watch your brains splat #BangBangByeBitch,” the affidavit says.

At the time of his preliminary hearing on June 27 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Alexandria, Schmitz’s attorney, Geremy Kamens, and Schmitz’s partner, Paul Cianciolo, told the media Schmitz had created a fictional character for his Twitter postings as an “inartful” political commentary on gun control issues.

Court records show that a plea agreement hearing for Schmitz has been scheduled for Sept. 27 in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, a development that suggests prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s office have offered to allow Schmitz to plead guilty to a lesser charge.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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