Skip to main content

Man sentenced for threatening Cantor

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Man sentenced for threatening a top GOP congressman, member of family
  • Norman LeBoon pleaded guilty to posting threatening video on YouTube
  • Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia is U.S. House majority leader

(CNN) -- A Philadelphia man was sentenced Thursday to 24 months in prison for threatening to kill the No. 2 Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, prosecutors said.

After his prison term, Norman LeBoon will have three years of supervised release, which will include home detention, no internet access, mental health treatment and drug testing.

LeBoon, 38, pleaded guilty in November in U.S. District Court to threatening Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia and a member of his family through a YouTube video he produced and transmitted on March 26, 2010.

Besides the charge of threatening a federal official, LeBoon was sentenced for transmitting via interstate commerce a threatening communication, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania said in a statement.

At the time of the incident, Cantor was House minority whip. He became House majority leader after the November elections.

An affidavit filed by an FBI agent said the defendant referred to Cantor and "your cupcake evil wife."

"Remember Eric ... our judgment time, the final Yom Kippur has been given," the video said, according to the affidavit. "You are a liar, you're a Lucifer, you're a pig, a greedy f------ pig, you're an abomination, you receive my bullets in your office, remember they will be placed in your heads. You and your children are Lucifer's abominations."

Neither Cantor, who is Jewish, nor his family were harmed as a result of the threat.

Following his arrest, LeBoon told federal agents that Cantor is "pure evil," "will be dead" and that "Cantor's family is suffering because of his father's wrath," the statement said.

At the time of the incident, Cantor was at the center of a dispute between Democrats and Republicans during the health care reform debate.

Cantor told reporters at the time that a bullet had been shot through a window at a campaign office in Richmond, Virginia. Richmond police concluded the incident was the result of "random gunfire." The shot was fired the day before the video was posted.

LeBoon could have faced a sentence of up to 15 years in prison and a $500,000 fine, according to the Justice Department.

The government, in a sentencing memorandum, said LeBoon had suffered from mental illness for years and could be violent when not on medication.

Prosecutors agreed the sentencing guideline range called for a term of 18 to 24 months. A presentence investigation by the probation office and court suggested that range and noted LeBoon has a level 1 criminal history.

"Threats against public officials at any time are extremely serious and have the potential to chill political discourse, in addition to seriously impacting the lives of the officials and their families," U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger said in the sentencing memo.