Man accused in Obama threat gets plea deal

Federal prosecutors have reached a plea agreement with a former Colorado Mesa University student accused of threatening President Barack Obama last fall.

A Denver attorney representing Mitchell Kusick, 20, of Westminster, filed a notice of disposition on July 17 and asked for a change-of-plea hearing in U.S. District Court in Denver. The terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. Kusick is expected to withdraw his not guilty plea on Aug. 15 in Denver.

Kusick, who remains in federal custody, was arrested Nov. 9, 2012, after the Westminster Police Department forwarded statements allegedly made by him to the U.S. Secret Service. Kusick was in protective custody and hospitalized Oct. 29 at Lutheran Hospital in Wheat Ridge, when he spoke to federal agents.

Kusick was enrolled as an online student at CMU and told agents he’d trained to shoot an assault rifle while practicing at a rifle range in Grand Junction.

A CMU spokesperson in January said Kusick was no longer enrolled.

A criminal complaint alleges Kusick told authorities he wanted to shoot schoolchildren around Halloween at Standley Lake High School and that he was obsessed with the Columbine and Virginia Tech shootings and the Jessica Ridgeway abduction case in Denver.

He also said he’d been tracking Obama’s visits to the Denver metro area and that he “wanted to go down in history as the guy who killed Obama.” The complaint also said he’d experienced hallucinations and had suicidal thoughts.

Kusick said he dreamed of attending West Point military academy and was “very upset” when he didn’t get a congressional nomination.

He was charged with one count of threatening the life, or harm against the President of the United States.


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