Advance Notice: Briefs

Ohio woman charged for leaving threatening, racist voicemails for Michigan legislators

By: - March 16, 2022 12:25 pm

Reps. Cynthia A. Johnson (left) and Sarah Anthony (right) | House Democrats photos

An Ohio woman who allegedly made threats to Michigan state legislators in racist voicemails could face prison time, Attorney General Dana Nessel said Tuesday.

Sandra Bachman, 58, of Batavia, Ohio, allegedly left voicemails in 2021 for state Reps. Cynthia A. Johnson (D-Detroit) and Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing).

“Hey um, need to cancel that bill against the vets, you little traitor. And, um, you won’t see the bullet coming, let me tell you that,” Bachman allegedly said in a voicemail to Anthony. “So, stop this sh*t and you’re fired. We’ll be coming to Michigan soon to remove you from your post.”

In a separate voicemail the next month, Bachman allegedly also threatened Johnson.

“Well, baby-doll, n***a lip b***h, monkey, we are going to get you. You will die. You are one of the worst offenders. We actually have a tier too, in like points for how much you are worth once we kill you…. You’re going to die and I’m happy about it. The whole world will be rejoicing, just know that. Sleep well,” Bachman said in the message, according to the attorney general’s office.

Bachman is charged with one count of false report or threat of terrorism, a 20-year felony; one count of ethnic intimidation, a two-year felony; and two counts of telecommunications services – malicious use, a six-month misdemeanor.

The 54A District Court has scheduled an arraignment at 8:15 a.m. March 31.

Michigan State Police investigated the threats before referring them to the Department of Attorney General.

Anthony, who is currently running for the state Senate, responded to the voicemail in a fundraising email Wednesday morning.

“I don’t make it a point to discuss the threats I’ve received merely for showing up to work and doing the job our community sent me to the Capitol to do. But it is important for you to be informed about what’s happening in the halls of power,” Anthony said. “To be clear: I will not be intimidated by extremists, nor will I stop fighting for our community and our values.”

Nessel noted that other threats against elected officials have been made in recent months, during the COVID-19 pandemic and 2020 presidential election.

“This rise in threats against elected officials will not be tolerated,” Nessel said. “Those who think hiding behind a phone or keyboard will prevent them from facing criminal charges are severely mistaken. I appreciate the work done across state lines to bring accountability in this case.”

Anthony linked the rise in threats against public officials to extreme polarization in the United States.

“The division in our country, and in Michigan especially, has continued to build and develop over the last few years to a point where it’s getting in the way of our democracy and distracting us from good governance. We are at a point in time where we just have to tone down the temperature and choose to lead with respect, even if we disagree,” Anthony said. “There is no room for this type of vitriolic language or hatred in politics, or any public space.”

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Andrew Roth
Andrew Roth

Andrew Roth is a reporting intern with the Michigan Advance. He has been covering Michigan policy and politics for three years across a number of publications and studies journalism at Michigan State University.

MORE FROM AUTHOR