The 20-year-old pleaded guilty to one count of threatening to harm or kill the president after receiving a good deal from prosecutors who accepted the fact he had no intention to carry out the threats.
Joaquin Amador Serrapio Jr. appeared in federal court in Miami yesterday to face counts of threatening not only Obama but members of the Secret Service. He pleaded guilty to one count of threatening to kill or harm the president of the United States and the other charges were dropped.
The music business student, who attends Miami-Dade College, is due back in court on Aug. 22 for sentencing.
The threats were made last February, just prior to President Obama's visit to Miami and the University of Miami. As reported by the Washington Post, the first threat Serrapio posted on Facebook read, Who wants to help me assassinate Obummer when hes at UM this week?
As reported by Reuters, Serrapio posted a second threat on Feb. 23, the day of Obama's visit. If anyones going to UM to see Obama today, get ur phones out and record. Cause at any moment, im gonna put a bullet through his head and u don't wanna miss that ! YouTube!
Someone read the post and contacted the Coral Gables Police Department. Two Secret Service agents then went to Serrapio's home where both he and his mother consented to the house being searched. The agents found the Facebook post on an iPad and a text message to and from a friend.
As reported by the Miami Herald, the friend, who had seen the posting, texted, "LOL you can get in trouble for sayin' that."
Serrapio wrote back saying, "I wanna kill at least two of them [Secret Service agents] when they get here."
The only weapons the agents found were two pellet guns. Investigators were satisfied that Serrapio did not intend to carry out his threats and that Obama was never in danger.
Allan Ross, the student's attorney, was quoted in the Washington Post as saying his client, "wanted to get a reaction from political supporters of President Obama." The lawyer described Serrapio as being "very stupid, very stupid."
Serrapio could face up to five years in jail when he appears before U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke in August. But he will probably get much less as an agreement has been made with prosecutors for a 10 month sentence. But as his lawyer pointed out, some or all of it could be served on probation. Regarding the sentencing guidelines, Ross is quoted by Reuters as saying, There's no requirement that any portion of the sentence be served in jail.
Serrapio remains free on bail.