LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Edward Thomas Kelman, 66, has been found not guilty of making a threat against State Representative Laurie Pohutsky.
According to WOODtv, in May 2020, Kelman attempted to call the head of the Michigan Republican Party, but instead he dialed the office of State Representative Laurie Pohutsky.
Kelman claims the aide who answered the phone at the Livonia Democrat’s Lansing office refused to give him the number he sought.
“And I asked her, ‘What am I supposed to do? Come down there like the rest of these people and walk around with my shiny AR-15 to get an answer?’ That’s what they took as a threat,” Kelman said in a phone interview with News 8.
State Representative Laurie Pohutsky issued he following statement about Kelman’s verdict,
I am saddened to learn that Kelman was found not guilty of the violent threat he made against my office. This verdict sets a dangerous precedent that the next time someone is unhappy with the government, all they have to do is call a legislator and threaten them to get what they want without repercussions. The increased number of attacks and armed intimidation we have witnessed since April 2020 will continue to rise now that people see that the courts will find someone innocent of threatening others as long as they say they didn’t actually mean it. No matter what the outcome was today, that phone call caused my staff and me to fear for our lives. I hope people will remember that a real person was on the receiving end of that threat and that will be enough to stop someone from doing the same in the future.”
The Grandville man stated that he had no intention of going to Lansing; mentioning an AR-15 because he’d noticed armed protesters had stormed the Capitol just days earlier.