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Kalispell man admits threatening to murder U.S. Sen. Jon Tester

Kevin Patrick Smith
Posted at 4:31 PM, Apr 20, 2023

MISSOULA - A Kalispell man accused of threatening to kill Montana U.S. Senator Jon Tester in calls to his office admitted to a threats charge on Thursday.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, 46-year-old Kevin Patrick Smith pleaded guilty to threats to murder a United States Senator.

Smith faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release.

A sentencing date has been set for Aug. 24, 2023, and Smith was detained pending further proceedings.

The government alleged in court documents that on Jan. 30, Smith made numerous threatening phone calls to Sen. Tester, by leaving voicemails at his Kalispell office.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Smith said the following in one message:

“There is nothing I want 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.”

The message continued:

“I will never stop … And I would love to destroy you and rip your (obscenity) head from your shoulders. That is no problem. Call that a threat. Send the FBI.”

Smith also left a message for Sen. Tester that said:

“I would love to (obscenity) kill you. I would love to see your FBI at my door. I would love to see something in the news.”

Smith acknowledged in the recordings that he threatened Sen. Tester and such threats were “on purpose.” Smith made the threats because he was upset with Sen. Tester’s political decisions.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen L. DeSoto presided. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan G. Weldon is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the FBI and U.S. Capital Police.