Ex-Firefighter Pleads No Contest To Baca, Boxer Threats

DA: man sought to 'set up estranged wife'

ALHAMBRA (CBS) — A man who tried to get his estranged wife in trouble by making it look like she was threatening public officials, including Sheriff Lee Baca, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), and Rep. Mary Bono Mack, (R-Palm Springs), pleaded no contest on Thursday.

Michael Karl McNeil, 37, sent the e-mails in July 2008 using an e-mail account he created to “set up his estranged wife,” said Deputy District Attorney Jose Gonzalez.

He pleaded no contest to six counts of criminal threats and three counts of attempted criminal threats, Gonzalez said.

The charges to which McNeil pled involve threats against Baca, a Los Angeles County sheriff’s detective who investigated the case, Lassen County District Attorney Bob Burns, a Lassen County judge and a staff member from Mack’s office.

The attempted threats involved Boxer, Mack and Lassen County Public Defender David Marcus.

McNeil, a former U.S. Forest Service firefighter, has been in jail since his Aug. 6, 2008, arrest by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Arson Explosives Detail.

He is facing 19 years and eight months in prison, with sentencing set for March 10 before Alhambra Superior Court Judge Laura Priver.

More than two-dozen other counts against McNeil are expected to be dismissed when he is sentenced.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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