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Defendant plans to plead guilty after threatening to kill Senator Tester

Kevin Patrick Smith
Posted at 5:57 PM, Apr 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-09 11:07:48-04

MISSOULA — Kevin Patrick Smith of Kalispell, charged with making threats to murder U.S. Senator Jon Tester (MT), plans to plead guilty.

Smith is accused of making numerous threatening calls to Tester 's Kalispell office, leaving several threatening voicemails on Jan. 30, 2023.

In charging documents, Smith acknowledged in the recording that he threatened Tester and such threats were “on purpose.”

Smith made the threats because he was upset with Tester’s political decisions.

In the indictment, prosecutors allege that on January 30, 2023, Smith made numerous threatening calls to Tester by phone, leaving voicemails at his Kalispell office.

In one instance, Smith reportedly said, "There is nothing more than to have you stand toe to toe with me. You stand toe to toe with me. I rip your head off. You die. You stand in a situation where it is physical between you and me. You die.".... "I will never stop....and I would love to destroy you and rip your f***ing head from your shoulders. That is no problem. Call that a threat. Send the FBI."

Smith acknowledged in the recording that he threatened Tester and that such threats were made "on purpose."

On February 1, 2023, the FBI contacted Smith and instructed him not to threaten physical violence toward Tester.

Kalispell man accused of threatening to kill U.S. Senator Tester

Then on February 10, 2023, Smith again called Tester, stating in one voice message, "I want you to understand. If I ever pull my trigger, I know what dies."

In another voicemail received on the same date, Smith stated:

"No one with any understanding of anything pulls the trigger. Unless they know what they're shooting at. I guaran-godamn-tee you. My trigger doesn't get pulled until I know what I'm shooting at. And when I know what I'm shooting at, and I've decided it's dead, it gets pulled. And there's no if ands or buts about it. And there's no coming back from that."

Smith was then arrested by law enforcement officers in Kalispell.

As part of the plea agreement, Smith agrees to plead guilty to count 1 of the indictment.

By pleading guilty, the U.S. agrees to not prosecute Smith for the possession of an unregistered silencer that was found in his home.

Count 1 carries a maximum term of imprisonment of ten years, a $250,000 fine, and up to three years of supervised release.

The change of plea hearing is scheduled for April 20 before U.S. District Court Kathleen DeSoto in Missoula.


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