Jailed Colorado man heads to court for Facebook message threatening to kill a lawmaker

Jailed Colorado man heads to court for Facebook message threatening to kill a lawmaker


A Jefferson County man was in court today after police arrested him on suspicion of sending a graphic, threatening Facebook message to Republican Colorado Sen. Laura Woods of Arvada.

“Since your [sic] a Republican and love guns so much than [sic] maybe we should shoot you and that Ugly ass family of yours straight in the face,” the message read in part. The email, allegedly sent by 21-year-old Dylan Hopkins, also included a line saying he would “grant you and your family a Bullet straight to the head.”  

Hopkins lives with his parents in Woods’ district, according to media reports. He was scheduled for two court appearances today, but the second was postponed until Oct. 12.

The official charge is “Harassment — Telephone Computer Text,” according to records at the Jefferson County jail.

During an advisement hearing Monday morning, a judge granted a $1,000 bond for Hopkins and issued a protective order barring him from communicating with the lawmaker.

That order reportedly extends beyond just contact with Woods.

His mother told media he will lose internet privileges.

Woods is in a tight re-election campaign in a battleground district in a year when one state Senate seat could change the balance of power in the Republican-controlled state Senate.

Related: Zenzinger v. Woods state Senate race heats up

She spoke with Denver’s ABC affiliate about the Facebook post.

“[It] terrified me to think of one of the elementary or middle school kids that comes with their parent to help us knock on doors, showing up at the wrong door,” Woods told the station.

Woods told media she planned to press charges, and said she was in a town hall meeting when she first saw the message.

“Police were able to contact Hopkins who eventually admitted he had sent the Facebook message because he was upset about the upcoming election,” The Associated Press reported.

“The Secret Service is also investigating Hopkins for a social media post about the possibility of shooting GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump,” according to The Colorado Statesman.

Hopkins’ family members spoke to 9News in Denver.

This isn’t the first time police in Colorado have arrested someone for making death threats against a lawmaker. In 2013, a 42-year-old man was arrested after police said he made email and voicemail threats to Democratic Rep. Rhonda Fields of Denver over legislation to restrict the amount of bullets a gun magazine could hold. Democratic Rep. Joe Salazar also received death threats over the same legislation.


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About the Author

Corey Hutchins

is a journalist in Colorado, and Columbia Journalism Review's Rocky Mountain correspondent for the United States Project. Follow him on Twitter @CoreyHutchins and email him at CoreyHutchins [at] gmail [dot] com.

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