Detroit man could get 20 years in prison after alleged threat to kill Whitmer, Nessel

By: - May 15, 2020 3:20 pm

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel | Andrew Roth

Robert Tesh, 32, of Detroit has been charged with false report of threat of terrorism after he allegedly made on April 14 “credible threats to kill” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel.

Tesh allegedly made the threat while he was speaking with an acquaintance on a social media messenger app, according to a news release from Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy.

If convicted, Tesh could spend up to 20 years in prison.

Tesh was arrested by the Detroit Police Department at his home on April 14. He was arraigned April 22 and received a $50,000 cash surety bond and a global positioning system (GPS) tether. Tesh posted bond on April 29, but remains on a tether.

A preliminary exam, which is where a judge decides if there is probable cause for Tesh to stand trial, has not been scheduled.

Tesh’s probable cause hearing, a meeting that happens in all felony cases in Michigan and gives defense attorneys and prosecutors an opportunity to discuss the case, will take place June 3.

If convicted, Tesh could spend up to 20 years in prison.

Worthy said the alleged facts in the case lay out a disturbing scenario.

“We understand that these times can be stressful and upsetting for many people,” said Worthy. “But we will not and cannot tolerate threats like these against any public official who are carrying out their duties as efficiently as they can.”

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Both Whitmer’s and Nessel’s offices say they cannot comment on the case because it relates to an open criminal matter.

News of Tesh’s arrest and charge come after Whitmer called on Republican lawmakers Monday to denounce death threats made against her on social media, and while signs with violent themes, like one saying,“Tyrants Get the Rope,” have been on display during recent right-wing protests.

In a tweet Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) condemned those “who have populated a number of social media posts with crude, violent and threatening messages about our governor.”

“These folks are thugs and their tactics are despicable,” Shirkey said. “It is never OK to threaten the safety or life of another person, elected or otherwise, period.”

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Madeline Ciak
Madeline Ciak

Madeline Ciak is a former Michigan Advance reporter. She’s a University of Michigan-Flint graduate and previously worked as a digital media manager at NBC25/FOX66 in Flint and a weekend producer at ABC12.