Bail denied for Pa. man accused of Obama threat

  • Associated Press
  • September 19, 2013 - 10:20 AM

SCRANTON, Pa. — A federal judge has denied bail for a northeastern Pennsylvania man accused of threatening to kill President Barack Obama last month and stockpiling ammunition ahead of the president's visit to the area.

Nicholas Savino, 42, of Clarks Summit, sent an email to the White House on Aug. 16 calling Obama the Antichrist and threatening to shoot him, authorities said. He was arrested a week later, just before Obama visited nearby Scranton.

Authorities said a search of his home turned up a loaded AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, 11,000 rounds of ammunition, a long-range scope and training manuals on long-range shooting.

Defense attorney Paul Ackoury sought Savino's release on Wednesday, The (Scranton) Times-Tribune ( ) reported. Ackoury acknowledged that authorities found a lot of ammunition at Savino's home but said that was because he was stockpiling it because he feared a weapons ban.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Fran Sempa opposed the request, saying Savino had made an explicit threat against the president days before Obama's visit.

"It's one thing to say he is a firearms enthusiast. That's all fine and dandy until you look at it in the context of the threat," Sempa said.

U.S. District Magistrate Judge Thomas Blewitt rejected the request, calling the reported 11,000 rounds "an outrageous amount of ammunition."

Ackoury said after the hearing that he didn't believe his client posed any threat and called the case a "tough situation."

"He has a very supportive family. He is an accomplished young man and very bright," he said. "It's early in the case. We have to look at the situation and do our best to put up a defense."

© 2018 Star Tribune