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FD man accused of threatening Branstad

Complaint: Jerry Springsteen wanted to shoot gov. with rifle

December 12, 2012
Peter Kaspari ( , The Daily Freeman Journal

DES MOINES - A Fort Dodge man is facing federal charges after he allegedly threatened to kill Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad.

Jerry Springsteen, 47, has been charged federally with mailing threatening communications.

Springsteen was arrested Monday, according to court documents.

According to the criminal complaint, Springsteen told Agent Scott Reger, of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, that he sent the letter to the governor's office while a patient at the Mary Greeley Mental Health Unit in Ames.

"Springsteen said he authored and mailed this letter in order to get Governor Branstad's attention," the complaint stated. "He said his intention was to intimidate Branstad and to get Branstad to listen to him."

In the letter itself, Springsteen allegedly wrote that he had "a clear shot at you on Terrace Hill."

Fact Box

The letter

EDITOR'S NOTE: Following is the edited transcript of the letter sent to Gov. Branstad. Vulgarities were deleted, however spelling, grammar and punctuation errors were left unedited.

"Old man Now that you have figured out we are enemies and not allies I want you dead ... Listen I want you to give me everything you can give me and I'll do the same back to you get your lawyer's ect ect I want to put you in the ground punk see you play mind (games) and rig elections were you know you can get away with it now that I'm out I got a clear shot at you on Terrace Hill! Ah HA HA HA! Well as I said Adolph the war is on you're a walken dead man now punk "Signed"! "Jerry M. Springsteen," Ex FBI and Advisor to Adolph Hitler"

"I want you to give me everything you can give me and I'll do the same back," Springsteen is accused of writing.

According to the complaint, Springsteen allegedly explained to Reger what he meant by "a clear shot."

"Springsteen said that there is a fire escape on the Meadow Gold Building in the area of Fleur Drive and Grand Avenue in Des Moines where he could take a shot at Branstad with a rifle."

The letter is signed "Jerry M. Springsteen," and the complaint said Springsteen's Fort Dodge residence was listed as the return address.

The complaint said the letter was postmarked on Oct. 18, and the DCI began investigating the case on Oct. 25.

Springsteen's attorney, Keith Uhl, of the Uhl Law Firm in Des Moines, declined to comment on the specifics of his client's case.

"He had his preliminary appearance yesterday, and the case will proceed in the normal course," Uhl said Tuesday.

Capt. Mark Logsdon, of the Governor's Detail in the Iowa State Patrol, said the threats against the governor are very serious.

"We take any type of transmission or communication like that very seriously, whether it's an email or a letter or a phone call," he said. "Thank goodness they don't happen very often, but when they do we want to be vigilant."

Their most important priority is to make sure the governor stays safe, according to Logsdon.

He added he wasn't sure where Springsteen was arrested.

The complaint and online court records indicate Springsteen has a criminal history that includes public intoxication, assault with a weapon and operating while intoxicated. His convictions include a guilty plea to second-degree harassment in a case where he threatened a Webster County judge.

Springsteen was ordered held in custody until his trial.



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