Texas man who threatened to kill U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters sentenced to 33 months in prison

The Texas man who was indicted last year and accused of threatening to kill U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., in a series of phone calls has been sentenced to 33 months in federal prison, federal officials announced Monday.

Brian Michael Gaherty, 61, from Houston, Texas, was sentenced Monday and fined $10,000 for his crimes, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Central District of California.

The release also noted that United States District Judge R. Gary Klausner found Gaherty specifically targeted Waters, who is Black, because of her race, and therefore added a hate-crime enhancement to his sentence.

Lawyers representing Gaherty did not immediately reply to emailed requests for comment sent Monday.

In January, Gaherty pleaded guilty to one count of threatening a United States official, the USAO said. In his plea agreement, Gaherty admitted to threatening to assault and murder Waters four separate times in August and November 2022.

According to the USAO release, “Gaherty made these threats with the intent to impede, intimidate, and interfere with Waters while she was engaged in the performance of her official duties.”

The four occasions were all via voicemail, which Gaherty left on Waters’ district office phone in Los Angeles County, according to the release. In each of the four voicemail messages, Gaherty posed a violent threat and used profanity, as well as racist and misogynistic language.

In the August 2022 incidents, according to the release, Gaherty threatened to “put a cap” between Waters’ eyes, “cut [her] throat,” and “stomp” her.

Authorities contacted Gaherty in October 2022, and warned him to leave Waters alone, according to the release. But a few weeks later, he continued to leave threatening messages on her office phone.

Gaherty left two more voicemails for Waters in November 2022, telling Waters that she “done [expletive] up” because she reported his prior threats to law enforcement and added “this ain’t no threat. It’s a … promise,” according to the release.

In those calls, he also threatened Waters that he would meet her “on the street” and “get in [her] face,” telling her “you better watch your back,” the release states. Gaherty also repeatedly warned Waters that he had a “crowd” nearby that could harm her.

Gaherty was arrested and indicted in August 2023 on eight counts related to the threats — four counts of making threats in interstate communications and four counts of threatening a United States official.

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