NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There was a verdict on Wednesday in the trial of Brendan Hunt, the Queens man accused of threatening to kill members of Congress.
The trial at Brooklyn Federal Court lasted just a week. After just a few hours of deliberation, jurors found him guilty, CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported.READ MORE: Brendan Hunt, Accused Of Threatening To Kill Members Of Congress, Testifies His Posts Were Just ‘Online Blather’
Hunt, 37, told the jury on Tuesday he, “didn’t think anyone would take me seriously” when it came to his online posts and videos.
A staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump, Hunt testified he was just repeating rhetoric he had heard, and that he had been drinking and smoking weed when he posted the video titled “Kill Your Senators” two days after the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot, which he did not attend.
Daniel Bonthius, one of AOC’s staffers, testified the office was very concerned.
“He saw those events and saw they needed to go farther,” Bonthius testified earlier in the trial.READ MORE: AOC Staffer Daniel Bonthius Takes Stand At Trial Of Brendan Hunt, Accused Of Threatening To Kill Members Of Congress
Hunt said he “wasn’t trying to inspire anyone or intimidate politicians.” However, he also noted people in online conspiracy theory sites “are very easily swayed.”
At the time of his arrest, the Ridgewood, Queens man was an analyst for the New York Court System and is also the son of a former judge.
In text messages sent to his father displayed in court, he used profane antisemitic and racist slurs.
He claimed he was just trying to get his father’s attention and that “I wrote a lot of things I didn’t mean.”
Prosecutors said “his beliefs help to explain his intent.”
The defense had argued the charges were overblown and that his rants are protected speech, but the prosecution said they were true threats.
Hunt’s lawyers had no comment outside of court, but do plan to appeal, Gainer reported.MORE NEWS: Capitol Chaos: N.Y. Court Employee Brendan Hunt Accused Of Making Threats Against Elected Officials
Hunt is facing up to 10 years in prison and will be sentenced at the end of June.