AUGUSTA, Maine — A Maine man who allegedly threatened to kill President Barack Obama and U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree in written messages spanning two years pleaded not guilty in federal court on Thursday.
Peter Hamilton, 66, recently of Augusta, was indicted in July on six counts of threatening public officials. The indictment was sealed until Thursday, when he entered his plea at an initial video appearance in U.S. District Court.
The threats began in May 2014, when the indictment says Hamilton sent four messages threatening to kill Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven who won her fifth term representing Maine’s 1st District in the November election.
In one, Hamilton allegedly wrote, “Kill Chellie Pingree! Kill her! Kill President Obama! Kill him! I’m gonna kill them both!”
Court records show that he followed up those messages with two others, including one in May 2016 in which he said “I hate this country,” that he was moving to Canada and “I’m going to get a gun and kill President Obama.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Ruge, who is prosecuting the case, said Hamilton is scheduled to be released from the state-run Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta and has a criminal history. He was ordered into federal custody after his release from Riverview.