Woman Charged After Allegedly Threatening Michigan Republican Election Official

Woman Charged After Allegedly Threatening Michigan Republican Election Official
Absentee ballots at the Central Counting Board sit on a desk as they wait to be processed in the TCF Center in Detroit, Mich., on Nov. 4, 2020. (Elaine Cromie/Getty Images)
Jack Phillips

Federal prosecutors on Dec. 23 filed charges against a New Hampshire woman who allegedly threatened the chairwoman of Michigan’s Wayne County Board of Canvassers following the presidential election.

Katelyn Jones, 23, was charged with threatening violence through interstate commerce after an FBI investigation, officials said in a news release.

An FBI affidavit filed in court made references to Jones’s alleged threats against Monica Palmer, chairwoman of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers, after Palmer, a Republican, voted against certifying the county’s election results, according to the Detroit News.
“The allegations in this case should make all of us disgusted,” U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said in a statement about the charges. “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.”

In one instance, according to officials, Jones sent Palmer photos of a bloody dead woman lying on the ground. She also sent Palmer texts saying she was a racist and a terrorist.

Jones is also accused of sending Palmer a photo of her minor daughter. Palmer received similar threats via her Instagram account, the office said.

“Your daughter is beautiful. I‘d [sic] be a shame if something happened to her. Hmmm I’d [sic] be a shame if something happened to your daughter at school,” read one alleged text message cited in the affidavit, the Daily Mail reported.

John Kosanke, director of the Grosse Pointe Woods Police Department, in the news release: “Due to the potential wide scope of the investigation, we contacted the F.B.I. for their assistance in this case.

“As a result of the combined efforts between the F.B.I. and our investigative team, led by Detective Ryan Schroerlucke, federal felony charges were filed. I would like to express appreciation to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their assistance in this investigation.”

Jones is facing as many as 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Another Republican member of the board, William Hartmann, said he was forced to leave his home for a period of time after receiving threats.

“I was scared,” Hartmann told The Epoch Times on Dec. 22. “[The police] actually had people stationed outside in different locations, watching, in case anything happened. They were there for three or four days.

“The news media went to my house and filmed the front of my house and my address. And then my website was doxxed. And I got over 1,500 hate emails. And you got to then throw social media on top of that.”

Hartmann and Palmer initially voted against certifying the results and questioned the results’ veracity. They reversed their decision, although they later filed affidavits to rescind them.

Jeff Levin, Jones’s court-appointed lawyer, declined to comment to the Detroit News.

Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X: https://twitter.com/jackphillips5
Related Topics