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Man pleads guilty to making election-threats

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UNDATED (WSAU)  A Madison man accused of making over 100 telephone threats to the State Democratic Party headquarters pleaded guilty yesterday to making one of those calls. 61-year-old William Diedrich admitted to federal Judge William Conley that he made the threats from January through March of this year. But he said he doesn’t remember much about them, after he suffered a fall which kept him away from his job as an electric contractor.

Among other things, prosecutors said Diedrich left a voice mail for Democrats in which he said the bombings at U-W Madison’s Sterling Hall and Oklahoma city would quote, “seem like a firecracker compared to what’s gonna happen to you people.” Authorities said he also threatened to shoot at Democrats walking on Madison’s Capitol Square, and shoot anyone who ran in the recall election against Governor Scott Walker. Diedrich also said he would shoot “’Bama,” apparently meaning President Obama.

Prosecutors wanted Diedrich to write an apology to the Democrats, and the judge agreed. He faces up to 10 years in prison, but he’s expected to get less under federal sentencing guidelines. Diedrich is scheduled to be sentenced on December 20th.

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