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Arkansas man sentenced for Obama death plot

By the CNN Wire Staff
Paul Schlesselman threatened to kill then-Sen. Obama, shortly before the presidential election, according to federal officials.
Paul Schlesselman threatened to kill then-Sen. Obama, shortly before the presidential election, according to federal officials.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Paul Schlesselman sentenced to 10 years in prison in plot to kill then-Sen. Barack Obama
  • Schlesselman pleaded guilty in January
  • He planned to kill dozens of people with a focus on murdering blacks, officials say
RELATED TOPICS
  • Crime
  • Assassination
  • Barack Obama

(CNN) -- An Arkansas man was sentenced to 10 years in prison Thursday for plotting to kill dozens of blacks, including then-Sen. Barack Obama, federal authorities said.

Paul Schlesselman pleaded guilty in January and was sentenced in an Arkansas federal court Thursday.

Federal officials said Schlesselman had threatened to kill Obama on October 23, 2008, shortly before the presidential election.

He also planned to "murder dozens of people with a focus on murdering African-Americans," the Justice Department said.

Schlesselman admitted planning the killing rampage for more than a month and had started to pile up weapons, including a short-barreled shotgun, the Justice Department said.

He planned to go on a series of robberies, burglaries and murders that would have ended with the killing of Obama, the Justice Department said.

"Our nation has made great progress in advancing civil rights, but this unthinkable conspiracy is a reminder that hate-fueled violence continues to be a very real problem in so many communities," said Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division.