ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — A man on trial for sending Governor Martin O’Malley a threatening email is getting a groundswell of support.
Suzanne Collins reports they don’t agree with the tactics used but do agree with his frustration with the state government.
Walter Abbott wrote an email to Governor Martin O’Malley saying he’d lost his drywall business and his home because illegal immigrants undercut his prices. He wrote, “I would like to wrap my hands round your neck and choke the life out of you.”
“I’ve been going about it every legal way, every way I can. I’ve…called his office, written letters, never get a response. All I did was send an email that was a little, you could say, harsh,” Abbott said.
Abbott is back on trial in the Baltimore County Courthouse after an earlier conviction was overturned. More than a dozen supporters are by his side, people who, like Abbott, believe the state has hurt taxpayers but given benefits to those who don’t pay taxes.
“Walt’s frustration, I share it as well. When I go out to bid work, I can’t compete with these guys,” said Tom Young.
“Maryland spends over a billion and a half dollars annually on illegal aliens. This is for schools, health care—they’re trying for in-state tuition,” said Brad Botwin.
Abbott’s supporters say they do not agree with the email Abbott sent the governor or the words he chose, but they say they do share his frustration over illegal immigration.
“It is an issue about free speech and if you’re going to kill somebody, why would you put your name, address and phone number in the letter?” said Judy Bach.
Abbott, who’s getting financial donations for legal expenses, says he turned down three plea bargains, including no jail time. He says he wanted to go on trial.
“What’s going to change if I take that plea? Am I going to have a job tomorrow?” he said.
Abbott’s supporters include people opposed to illegal immigration, Tea Party members and constitutionalists.
Initially, Abbott was held on $2 million bond, but after about a week he was released on his own recognizance.