Woman accused of threatening Wayne County Board of Canvassers chairwoman

Grosse Pointe Woods woman faces 20 years in prison and $250,000 fine
William Hartmann and Monica Palmer of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers
William Hartmann and Monica Palmer of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers(Michigan United)
Published: Dec. 23, 2020 at 11:42 AM EST
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WAYNE COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) - A Detroit-area woman is facing up to 20 years in prison for alleged threats sent to Wayne County Board of Canvassers Chairwoman Monica Palmer in November.

U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider announced federal felony charges against Katelyn Jones of Grosse Pointe Woods for a series of “horrifying and menacing” text messages sent to Palmer’s phone after the Board of Canvassers voted Nov. 17 to certify Wayne County’s vote totals.

Palmer voted against certifying the county’s results, which showed Democrat Joe Biden with a decisive win over President Donald Trump in Wayne County.

Schneider said Jones began sending text messages to Palmer’s phone early the following morning. Jones allegedly called Palmer a racist and a terrorist while using “graphic and profane language,” he said.

The text messages also included images of a bloody, naked and mutilated woman’s body lying on the ground -- immediately followed by a photo of Palmer’s young daughter and a message reading, “I’d just like you to imagine that’s…your beautiful daughter,” according to Schneider.

Another message allegedly from Jones read, “You should be afraid, your daughter should be afraid, and so should” your husband, using his name.

Police arrested Jones on Wednesday morning in New Hampshire, where she was visiting, and federal prosecutors filed a criminal complaint against her in U.S. District Court. She faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.

“The allegations in this case should make all of us disgusted,” Schneider said. “There is simply no place in Michigan, or in the United States, for chilling threats like this to people who are simply doing what they believe is correct.”

He said political disagreements are part of America and Michigan, but they never should devolve into threats of violence.

“For the last several years, we’ve repeatedly heard leaders across this state — elected officials, community activists, and even religious leaders — rallying against hateful language and rhetoric. And, over and over, we have heard those exact same leaders using hateful language and rhetoric to decry anyone who disagrees with them,” Schneider said.

He believes that attitude “fans the flames” and is partially responsible for threats being made over political discourse.

“For the sake of our state, our country, it’s time for this to stop,” Schneider said. “All of us need to be examples for the children and young adults of our state. We need to show them that it’s OK to disagree. It’s OK to disagree about politics, it’s OK to have different views in the workplace, and it’s certainly OK to have differences of opinion in the classroom.”

He pointed out anyone implicated in making threats in Michigan could face arrest and a prison sentence.

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